Saturday, March 19, 2011

There is STILL No Reason to Panic.

The US Army Garrison has put out procedures for voluntary evacuation. This is not a "we're all gonna die!" evac, this is to placate the dependents that are freaking the hell out.

I am not going on this one. I feel perfectly safe, there is no danger in Tokyo right now. Nothing has changed with the nuclear situation in the last several days, and there are radiation sensors all over the country now from the US and probably other countries. Everywhere other than the immediate area around the plant still has less radiation than Denver, CO. With the arrival of military fire trucks, helicopters, and (hopefully reconnected) power cables, I'm optimistic that they'll get this under control.

If we get to a point where there might actually be real danger, there will be a more strongly suggested evacuation, and I will go. Like I've said before, I'm prepared and I'm paying attention. I'm not going to tell anyone to stop worrying altogether because that's unrealistic, but please trust that we will make the right decisions when it comes time to do so. Until then, I'll try to keep you updated about how normal life is right now. And it's really normal. Our neighborhood hasn't even had a blackout for a few days.

I'm pleased to see the news shifting a little bit away from the plant in light of no new developments and back to the astronomical human tragedy up north. The confirmed dead are almost at 7,000, many more are still missing. People are freezing and starving in the thousands because aid can't reach them due to the lack of a port in Sendai (the tsunami erased it) and there is no gasoline for heaters or vehicles. The BBC is (hopefully other networks are now, too) running stories about individual survivors. There was a story on the local news yesterday about a firefighter, probably in his 50s, who worked through the tsunami in one of the hardest hit areas, doing his job instead of abandoning his post and rushing home to his family. He found out later that his wife, children, and grandchildren are gone. He will beat himself up for the rest of his life for not going home to be with them and my heart breaks that there will be no comfort for him. You just don't come back from something like that.

I'd like to help with the disaster relief effort, but they are not at the point of asking civilians to volunteer time and energy, so there is nothing I can do right now. I can't even donate blood or clothes through our base as of yet.

If you want to donate to the disaster relief, recommended organizations are the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders.

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