How To Help Japan

There’s not much left to say about the heart-wrenching devastation of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami. We felt the best response was giving you a shortlist of ways to lend a hand.

By now, it’s certain you have seen the tragic footage and read multiple accounts of the ongoing disaster in Japan brought on by the mammoth 9.0 earthquake and subsequent Pacific Tsunami and out-of-control nuclear contamination.

Besides our team’s collective sympathy, we would like to add what wandermelon believes is a comprehensive shortlist of go-to resources for those of you who feel compelled to help in some way. Our list also includes important resources if you are actually in Japan living as an ex-pat, traveling or a resident.

The wandermelon shortlist for helping Japan

Doctors Without Borders is sending highly trained teams of doctors into the hardest-hit and most inaccessible  regions of Japan.  (Note: the organization is not accepting contributions “earmarked” for Japan, but rather drawing from general support to enable their important response work there). To donate, click here…

The Red Cross operates 92 hospitals in Japan and has deployed 700 medical relief volunteers across the country already. To donate, click here…

*Another quick and easy way to donate to the Red Cross relief efforts in Japan is simply to text REDCROSS to 90999 and $10 will be donated to efforts there. (The donation will be added to your next phone bill).

Social media to the rescue

On twitter, search the hashtag #HelpJapan to learn more ways you can help, even from thousands of miles away. Twitter has also posted other searchable hashtags such as #JPQuake and #prayforjapan that will access quake-related streams.

The social media and technology trend website mashable.com has an excellent list of 7 things tech-savvy folks can do to help out, ranging from buying virtual crops like sweet potatoes on Farmville (100 percent of proceeds will go to relief efforts and parent company Zynga is planning on raising $2 million for Japan) to embedding script in your blog or website that contains donation information and appeals. You can even donate through iTunes.

Search giant Google has also responded with an exceptionally thorough page that aggregates useful information ranging from planned blackouts to transportation status for trains, buses and planes (some of this info is in Japanese only).

We also found a great listing of options on the blog Boomer Tech Talk, run by a Kauai-based technology consultant. He has a great list of social media and online resources ranging from sites that can give information on rolling blackouts in Japan (YokosoNews.com)  to the Help Save Japan facebook page now live at Austin’s SXSW conference.

For those in Japan, TimeOut Tokyo has a good overview on how to best help out, ranging from where to give blood to a comprehensive list of local and international aid organizations seeking donations.

Finally (and unfortunately) in any situation like this where millions of dollars are being donated, scammers are certainly lurking. PC Mag.com has a good list of how to best avoid the bad apples.

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