The Japanese Red Cross Society has released the following announcement about helping out with the disaster. I know a lot of people here in Nagoya are wondering what you can do to help, so I have translated it here to help give people information. Basically right now the best thing we can do is sit tight and give generously to charity. Pardon any mistranslations.

To the victims and families of those who have been affected by the Great Tohoku-Kanto Earthquake we extend our support. The Japanese Red Cross Society has dispatched rescue parties and relief workers who are making every effort to provide relief to the areas affected by the disaster.


Concerning monetary contributions -
We have established an account dedicated exclusively for the Great Tohoku-Kanto disaster relief. Due to the high volume of inquiries regarding credit card payments, payment by convenience store etc, we are presently experiencing some trouble with site access. We apologize for any inconvenience, and appreciate your patience.


Concerning the donation of material goods -
As a general rule the Red Cross does not accept donations of material goods such as food or clothing from individuals. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.

  日本赤十字社では、被災地の被害状況の把握に努めており、また、医師・看護師等による救護活動などを最優先に行っております。つきましては、現地でのボラ ンティアの受付について、現時点でご案内できる情報はありませんが、防災ボランティアセンターの開設に向けて調整しております。現地の体制が整い次第、日 本赤十字社のホームページ等でお知らせする予定です。
Concerning Volunteering -
The Japanese Red Cross Society is still attempting to assess the damage of the affected areas and those with medical expertise such as doctors and nurses will be given first priority. At present we do not have any information about volunteers being accepted at the actual site. Please refer to the the Disaster Prevention Volunteer Center. We will announce any information regarding the organization of a on-site volunteer program as soon as it becomes available, via our homepage.
Two days ago Japan was devastated by an 8.9 Mag earthquake, and a terrible Tsunami. This is surely one of the worst disasters in human history - currently 1,900 people have been reported dead or missing and the death toll is expected to rise. The number of families displaced, evacuated and seeking shelter is close to 400,000. Whole neighborhoods, and districts have been swept away leaving nothing but empty patches of earth. The loss of life and livelihood is absolutely heart wrenchingly catastrophic. My heart is broken for this country that has welcomed me for the past 5 years.

Before this news is out of sight and out of mind, please PLEASE consider donating to some sort of disaster relief charity. The American, Japanese and International Red Cross societies are a good place to start.

In addition, for the rest of the month I will be donating 100 of proceeds from book sales to disaster relief efforts. Please consider buying a book and supporting those most affected by the earthquake and tsunami.