(1) First, how you can help. The American Red Cross has already set up an online donation site to provide assistance to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami. You probably also have heard that President Obama has promised all possible assistance to the people of Japan. US military assets, including the USS Ronald Reagan, an aircraft carrier, and other ships are moving to the region, ready to provide aid.
(2) Second, how to find out about your friends and family. As the earthquake hit, JASW's Director of Educational Programs, Risa Kamio, was flying to Tokyo. Her plane was diverted to Yokota Air Force Base and then to Kansai. Risa has shared the following information with us.
"I was on the way from DC to Narita when the earthquake hit and the plane could not land. I am spending the night at Kansai Airport. They are asking people not to try to use the regular phone lines to find out if your family and friends are safe. Use Twitter, Skype, Mixi, etc. and save the phone lines for someone who really needs it in the Tohoku area."
Google has created the site, "Google Person Finder". It currently has the record of 7200 people and you can type in the name of person you are looking for and find out if he/she is safe.
If the person you are looking for has a cell phone in Japan, and you know which company his/her cellphone is, you can check each company's website below and type in the phone number to see if he/she has left a message. The available areas are Aomori, Miyagi, Yamagata and Fukushima prefectures.
For Docomo users:
For KDDI (Ezweb) users:
For Softbank users:
For Wilcom users:
For Emobile users:
(3) To locate US citizens in Japan:
The US Embassy and Consulates in Japan are working to obtaininformation on the status of U.S. citizens and to provide assistance asnecessary. * If you have concerns about a specific U.S. citizen in Japan,please send the State Department an email at JapanEmergencyUSC@state.gov * If you have concerns about a specific U.S. citizen in theTsunami zone outside of Japan, please send the State Department an email at PacificTsunamiUSC@state.gov Although telephone lines are disrupted, you may want to try contacting your loved one by email, text (SMS) message, or other social media.
* Tokyo airports (Narita and Haneda) are currently closed andpossibly damaged. Trains and subways are down in the Tokyo metropolitanregion, and train service may be sporadic throughout the rest of thecountry..
* Aftershocks can be expected and may be severe. U.S. citizensshould take basic earthquake safety precautions. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE INQUIRIES
* U.S. Forces Japan reports that all personnel have beenaccounted for, and there are no reports of injuries.
* The Department of Defense instructs that family members ofDepartment of Defense personnel should call 1-800-342-9647 to inquireabout their loved ones or contact the individual unit command directlyfor more specific information.
JAPANESE AND OTHER CITIZENS
* If you are calling regarding a Japanese citizen, please contact the Japanese Embassy (Washington - 202-238-6700) or Consulate.
* If you are calling regarding a citizen of a third country,please contact that country's Embassy or Consulate. Contact informationfor foreign Embassies and Consulates in the United States is availablein the Country Specific Information links at www.travel.state.gov.