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Japan Help: Shelter Box Disaster Relief

March 19, 2011

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March 18, 2011: Local government authorities in Japan’s Iwate Prefecture have requested 500 ShelterBoxes to provide emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for families who lost their homes in last week’s tsunami.

The request came via the local Rotary district and is initially for 100 ShelterBoxes for each of the following five cities: Miyako, Yamadamachi, Kamaishi, Rikuzentakata and Ofunato.

The ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) operating in the country are working in cooperation with the British Embassy, British military personnel and the US military to overcome the logistical challenges they are facing.

It is a seven-hour journey by road from Tokyo to the Iwate Prefecture and with fuel shortages, heavy snow, freezing temperatures and the ongoing nuclear situation there are a range of obstacles to overcome in order to ensure aid reaches the families who need it most.

‘Every disaster is different but this one is certainly posing a unique set of circumstances for us to deal with,’ said SRT member and ShelterBox International Director Lasse Petersen who has been in Japan since last Saturday.

‘We mobilised on day one because we knew there would be a need for the provision of emergency shelter. The specific needs request means we can now begin our distribution and we continue to be ready to respond in whatever capacity is required from us.’

About Shelter Box
We provide emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for families around the world who are affected by disasters at the time when they need it the most. Our Founder, Tom Henderson OBE, saw the humanitarian response in most disasters was in the form of food and medicine. Little or no assistance was being given in terms of safe, secure shelter to help families survive the first days, weeks and months as they try to rebuild their lives. ShelterBox was created to fill this void.

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