Japan Earthquake and Online Donation Information
Since last Friday when the earthquake struck Japan we have been inundated with calls, emails, text messages and personal requests for information about what is happening and how people can get involved in the relief effort. Many have already volunteered to be a part of a CSI SMART team (Strategic Management Assessment and Response Team) to Japan as well as any medical, humanitarian or construction teams.
I have discussed this possibility with Mark Majors who is the Disaster Response Coordinator for CSI. Brother Majors works with the Department of Homeland Security, US State Department and the US Military. He is very well connected to their information pipeline and has written a response (see below) to my inquiry about a SMART team going to Japan.
Because of the concerns highlighted in Brother Majorsâ€™ response, at this time CSI will not be sending any teams to Japan. As the situation continues to unfold there we will keep everyone updated on any changes to this. CSI does not have the resources of larger humanitarian organizations thus we must be as strategic as possible in our planning and implementation of our efforts.
While we will not be sending teams into Japan at this time, we do need funds for this relief effort. Because of the generous giving of many in times when there were no disasters, CSI does have a reserve of funds for immediate response before an appeal is made. However, those funds are limited and will not sustain a long term relief effort. We ask that you visit our website www.compassionservices.org <http://www.compassionservices.org> in order to donate online or donate via text. You may also send a check to:
8855 Dunn Road
Hazelwood, MO 63042
Some have written saying they could not give and could only pray. That is the greatest need for Japan at this hour! Please join with us in praying for Japan, the nationâ€™s leaders and citizenry. Also, continue to pray for the relief effort of so many on the ground.
Every disaster is unique, but the evolution of the tragedy in Japan is unlike anything we have ever witnessed. It is by far the most protracted disaster in history, with priorities and risks and needs changing by the hour. I believe that CSI has an opportunity to be a blessing in Japan; however, the relevance and value of whatever is done will be very different than before.
Although an assessment team visiting Japan may have merit, it should be delayed until some critical risk issues are reduced. The aftershocks will continue for days to come. The crisis of the nuclear exposure is growing and must first be contained. Transportation and logistics are completely broken down. There is a robust national and international rescue operations that we and most NGOs cannot be a part of at this time.
I strongly recommend an appeal for funds for the churches and pastors in Japan. The flexibility of cash will be so important on the short term for them to function at the most basic level. Later, when responder safety is more certain, transportation is available, a national recovery effort with all its rules are established is clear, perhaps an assessment team can go to Japan. Until then, we should rely on the information from those who need us and be prepared to assist them with their immediate needs.
I will continue to monitor disaster mitigation efforts and keep you posted.
Mark Majors, BS, EMT-Paramedic
CSI, Disaster Response Coordinator