Local Red Cross office offers tips on how to help

By the time many in the Central Missouri area awoke Friday, tragedy had struck Japan in the form of a massive, two-minute long earthquake that triggered a tsunami that swept away cars, homes and ships.

Beth Bauer, chief executive officer of the Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, said she had not heard of any calls for help from national offices. Nor had the local office received calls from local residents asking for help in locating loved ones in Japan.

“We do have International Tracing where we can help connect or try to connect those in war-torn countries or in the area of natural disasters with their loved ones,” she said.

On Friday afternoon, national Red Cross offices had released word on a fundraising campaign. With this disaster, as with all whether they occur in the United States or in other places in the world, donations can be sent to the Capital Area Chapter, Bauer said. The donations should be noted for the Japanese disaster.

Donations can be made online at www.redcross.org, then search for donate to Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami. A flat $10 donation can be made by texting REDCROSS to 90999; the donation will support disaster relief efforts in Japan and throughout the Pacific. Donations can also be made at www.redcrosscapitalarea.org.

No local volunteers have been deployed yet, and while Bauer was not sure it would happen, she said there are two volunteers on call who may potentially be deployed with the response vehicle for at least two weeks. Other trained volunteers may be deployed for as much as three weeks. Those response efforts would go toward the West Coast.

Local volunteers are also on alert to be deployed to help with relief efforts in the north and eastern United States.

The office can be reached at (573) 635-1132.

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