Over the last week, Japan has been hit by extreme weather in the form of both tornados and tropical storms. Much of the country is still under weather emergency advisories. On Monday, September 2nd tornados tore through the cities of Koshigaya in Saitama prefecture, and Noda in Chiba prefecture, both bedroom communities just minutes away from Tokyo. 64 injuries were reported and over 1000 structures have been damaged with as many as 20 completely destroyed. CRASH is responding with local churches.
According to the United Nations, Japan is the 5th most exposed nation in the world to natural hazards. Over 20% of world's earthquakes occur in Japan which is also home to 10% of the world's active volcanoes. Japan also experiences weather related hazards such as typhoons, tornadoes and flooding. But perhaps worst of all is the Japan's exposure to all of the tsunami generated in the Pacific Ocean. Despite the extreme risk of hazard, Japan also is very resourceful and diligent in preparing for disasters with highly trained emergency rescue teams and very strict building codes for earthquakes. However, there is still much that Christians can do to be better prepared for disaster, and there are many lessons that we have learned from the Great East Japan Disaster that can help Christians to be better equipped to bring help and hope to their communities when disaster strikes.
CRASH Japan is working with national and international partners to prepare the church in Japan for the next disaster,
1) Emotional and Spiritual Care Training
During the Great East Japan Disaster the needs for food and shelter were soon met, but the intangible need for hope still lingers. CRASH Japan trained volunteers and staff in basic psychological first-aid, team-care and self-care. We also trained specialized teams to visit those in evacuation centers and temporary housing and provide emotional and spiritual care. One of the greatest needs that was expressed by those who served in Tohoku was a desire for chaplaincy training to equip those who can help minister to the emotional and spiritual needs of those who are caring for others. CRASH is working to train a corps of chaplains to be ready for the next disaster.
2) Online and Offline Church Networks
Cooperation and collaboration work best when there is open communication between all the groups working at a disaster, fostering teamwork and reducing waste. CRASH is working on on-line and mobile solutions that will allow rapid assessment, training, and volunteer coordination.
3) Regional Seminars
When the predicted Nankai and Tonankai offshore earthquakes occur, the government of Japan predicts that deaths and damage will be over ten times that of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Because these quakes are expected to affect heavily populated urban areas it is vital that response capacity be decentralized and that each region become equipped to respond to the needs of other regions as well as their own local area. CRASH is building support networks throughout the nation of Japan and is holding seminars and training camps to train and equip Christians to be ready.
The United Nations has calculated that every $1 spent in reducing disaster risk and preparing for a disaster is worth $7 spent in responding to it afterwards. And yet less than 1% of aid is spent beforehand. CRASH Japan is committed to Acting Now and Saving Later.
Over the last two years CRASH Japan has trained over a hundred child trauma volunteers and provided OperationSAFE camps and events for over 500 children in Tohoku. In 2013 we have already held special Easter events in Ibaraki and Miyagi and will be conducting OperationSAFE camps for children during the summer as well. OperationSAFE will also be working with partners in Sichuan, China to hold camps for children affected by the massive quake there in April.
CRASH Japan is a Christian disaster relief organization based in Tokyo. We mobilize volunteers and work with local churches to bring help, hope, and healing in the name of Jesus Christ. "Love on Japan" is CRASH Japan's response to the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster that began on March 11, 2011.
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CRASH Japan Phone from Overseas: +81-50-1213-1388 Phone from within Japan: 050-1213-1388 Fax: 050-1213-1388 Address: 1-2-12-105 Shinkawa-cho, HIgashikurume-shi, Tokyo-to 203-0013 JAPAN HQ Map: Google Maps Email Form: Click Here