On March 11, 2011 a massive earthquake, magnitude 8.9, hit the East coast of Japan at 2:46pm local time and generated an incredible 32-foot tsunami which roared in an hour later. That same evening, an imminent nuclear disaster loomed as scientists and technicians raced to shut down the overheating reactor of one of Japan’s nuclear power plants which had been damaged in the quake.
Two years after the Japan earthquake and tsunami, the country has moved steadily toward recovery, taking steps to heal and rebuild communities. Throughout this journey, the compassion of the American public has provided relief and hope, helping support critical programs like the rebuilding of new hospitals and medical centers, temporary schools and gyms, as well as programs focused on emotional recovery and education.
Although the destruction that hit Japan seems extensive, the nation of Japan was extremely well-prepared for a national disaster. Their culture of readiness and well-tuned disaster preparedness plans tremendously helped prevent greater loss of life and infrastructure.
Those of us living in Southern California are aware that the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan could one day be at our doorstep. The steps that we take now to prepare ourselves, our families, schools and businesses, will allow us to ensure that our communities are resilient and able to recover in the face of a disaster.
Here are some quick tips to make sure you are Red Cross Ready:
For more information on Japan’s path to recovery, view the Japan two-year update.