Finding Loved Ones and Making Donations following Japan Quake and Pacific Tsunami
By Wendy Osher
The American Red Cross is assisting with efforts as many in the U.S. and Hawaii continue to search for missing family and friends in Japan following the large earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent aftershocks. The following information was provided by the Red Cross for those searching, and also for those wishing to help with donations.
Locating Family Members
Many people are without news of their relatives because of the earthquake in Japan on 11 March 2011. The areas particularly affected are the Prefectures of Miyagi, Fukushima, Tochigi and Ibaraki.
- The best way to contact or locate U.S. citizens living or traveling in Japan is to contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747 or (202) 647-5225.
- For inquiries about relatives living in Japan who are not US citizens, encourage the members of your community to keep calling or to try contacting other family members who live in the region. Even though communication networks overloaded right now, the situation may change and access to mobile networks and the internet may improve.
- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is managing a website in cooperation with the Japanese Red Cross and National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world. The purpose of this Family Links page is to help restore contact between separated family members. Go to www.ICRC.org/familylinks to register or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) for help registering.
- If you have the mobile phone number of your family member in the affected areas, you can use the following services to check whether he/she has registered his/her message(s) on this service. Services are available in English and Japanese. DoCoMo: http://dengon.docomo.ne.jp/Einoticelist.cgi?es=0 ; SoftBanK: http://dengon.softbank.ne.jp/pc-e1.jsp ; Willcom: http://dengon.willcom-inc.com/dengon/MessageSearch.do;jsessionid=E1E3A8789C6AC141489E8E6AD5F20825.ap1 ***Please note that when you enter the mobile phone number for search on the webpage, you should remove the country code 0081 and add 0 at the beginning. For example, phone number for example if you dial the number internationally as follows, 0081-90-8877-6655, enter it into the website as:090-8877-6655.
- The Google Person Finder site is available at: http://japan.person-finder.appspot.com/?lang=en
Those who want to help can go to www.redcross.org and donate to Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami. People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.
The Japanese Red Cross Society has mobilized eleven teams to heavily-damaged communities to provide assessments and first aid and prepare to supply emotional support and relief. The American Red Cross is in communication through its global partners with the Pacific nations that sustained the most damage, and stands ready to provide assistance as needed.
(Supporting information courtesy Red Cross)