• Japanese Red Cross disaster responder surveying earthquake site

Helping in Japan

Responding to the Earthquake and Tsunami

When Japan suffered a massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, residents turned to the Red Cross to help meet their basic needs. With support from the American public, families staying at evacuation centers received water, relief items and emotional support every day for months. The Red Cross also equipped survivors with appliances for their new homes, repaired damaged medical facilities, and helped the elderly and children.

Because of the compassion and generosity of the American public, the American Red Cross has supported more than half of the Japanese Red Cross’ $350 million aid program designed to meet the continuing emergency and longer-term recovery needs of the families living in evacuation centers and temporary housing – most of which are situated in the hardest hit prefectures of Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate.

The Red Cross is supporting families moving into temporary housing units provided by the government, helping to restore a sense of normality in their lives. The Red Cross provided home appliance packages, comprised of a washing machine, rice cooker, refrigerator, hot water dispenser, microwave and television, to more than 90,000 families with support from the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross also provided caregivers and psychological support teams for evacuation centers and nursing homes to address mental health issues, post traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety amongst survivors.

With major damage to health and care services, another priority is to support medical facilities, such as hospitals, clinics and care homes. In Ishinomaki, the Red Cross is boosting local health services by building and equipping temporary medical facilities.