As an American Red Cross employee Carrol Barrett tackles unknown situations every day. She has done so for the 25 years she’s been a Red Crosser. But nothing at her work has been as difficult as learning about the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and then waiting to hear from her two brothers who live in Tokyo and travel throughout the area with their respective jobs.
When the siblings did reach each other, the news was good. Barrett’s brother Paul Hoshizaki reported that he was safe in Tokyo where the quake registered 5.0 on the Richter scale. The day of the quake all transportation came to a standstill. “It took Paul two-and-a-half hours to walk home, along with millions of other walkers,” Barrett reports. When Paul did reach home, he found a few broken items inside, but no damage to the structure of the house. Barrett says she worries now about the availability of food and gasoline for her brother in Tokyo, even though there has been nothing in the news to make her anxious. She says her brother, who works for the Japanese Evangelical Lutheran Association, is caught up in coordinating response with other non-governmental organizations and hasn’t contacted her recently.