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Monday, March 21, 2011

American & Japanese Red Cross Partner to help

Red Cross works closely with others 
to deal with Japan disasters

Following the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters in Japan, the American Red Cross has made an initial contribution of $10 million to the Japanese Red Cross Society to assist efforts to provide medical care and relief assistance. “Our hearts go out to the people of Japan and all of the survivors of the earthquake and tsunami, in Japan and California,” said Tim Miller, CEO of American Red Cross in Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties. “We are grateful that local donors have been so generous and that we are able to contribute to the fundraising effort that enables the Red Cross to help so many.”

American Red Cross and Japanese Red Cross have a history of mutual support. The Japanese Red Cross sent support to the American Red Cross after September 11 and Hurricane Katrina. The American Red Cross aided the Japanese during the Kobe earthquake in 1995.

The Japanese Red Cross is a highly experienced disaster relief organization with 2 million volunteers. These local volunteers in Japan are distributing relief items, hot meals and deployed nearly 171 medical teams, as well as 2,400 nurses trained to provide emotional support and counseling for those affect by the disasters. Evacuations from the exclusion zone around the nuclear power plant are also being supported by the Japanese Red Cross.

According to the federal government, Hawaii, Alaska, the U.S. Territories and the U.S. west coast are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity. Public health officials for the state of California and counties are updating information frequently (links to their sites are available at the local Red Cross web site, The American Red Cross works in close coordination with local and federal government agencies to be ready to respond to the large-scale needs created by catastrophic events

Those trying to contact U.S. citizens living in or traveling in Japan should contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747 or (202) 647-5225. People in Japan and other countries in the Pacific can register at (or to inform their family and friends that they are safe and provide their current contact details. People in the U.S. looking for loved ones can check the ICRC list for information. They can also register the names of family members and friends, encouraging them to get in touch. As of March 16, the Red Cross family linking site, available in six languages, had logged more than 4,500 inquiries of people looking for loved ones or others letting them know they are safe.

Currently, all American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces staff stationed at military installations in the Far East are preparing for noncombatant evacuation operations in Japan to support military operations involving registration of evacuees, escort duty, and assisting in military sheltering operations.

There are several scams and frauds in the form of email and text messaging for donations on behalf of the American Red Cross for Japan, New Zealand and Haiti; the purchase of American Red Cross first aid supplies that are to be shipped abroad; and the impersonation of the British Red Cross.
Red Cross is asking the local media and the public to be aware of these scams, which may:
● Direct individuals to phony or fake websites;
● Request donations of monies through money transfer companies, such as Western Union;
● Offer “employment” for individuals to collect monies on behalf of the American Red Cross for a percentage
● Attempt to buy American Red Cross first aid kits, etc. from chapters to be shipped overseas (South Africa, India, Japan, etc.), but first the chapter must pay “a shipper” via Western Union, with cash or use of a credit card. The “buyer” of American Red Cross first aid kits will supply the chapter with either stolen or unauthorized credit cards to send money to the “shipper;” and/or state there is an appeal from the “British Red Cross” and request individuals to send monies to an email address, Western Union or via other transfer companies

Individuals can assist the Red Cross response effort, both internationally and locally, by making a financial donation in a variety of ways:
● All of Redwood Credit Union’s branches are now accepting donations from members and the public to assist the Red Cross response effort in Japan; along Friedman Brothers who has donation cans available in Santa Rosa and Ukiah stores and G &  G Markets, with donation cans located in Santa Rosa and Petaluma stores.
● secure online sites: or
● by phone: (707) 577-7600
● by texting REDCROSS to 90999; this enables donors to make a $10 donation to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.
● by U.S. mail to: American Red Cross, Sonoma, Mendocino, &  Lake Counties, 5297 Aero Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.

American Red Cross is a neutral, humanitarian organization that provides relief to victims of disasters and prepares people to prevent and respond to emergencies. Like all Red Cross chapters, local chapters are self-sustaining and funded by local contributions. All assistance to disaster victims and to members of the armed forces provided by the Chapter is free and made possible by voluntary donations of time and money by the American people.

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