Things to Avoid

Be Careful and Please Avoid

I was not sure what to call this page but it comes down to things to be careful about and please trying to avoid doing or being victims of — still important almost 1 year later months later …

Intentions are very important. Many people have good hearts out there – so lets just put this to good use! I have a few bits of information to share – starting with Things to Avoid

1. Overreaction.
Try to get and share balanced fact based information.
We are all in emotional pain Yes but we need to focus on solutions to specific problems. By all means DO share information about what is happening but do not panic other people.

2. Running to the affected area.
Please do not to hop in a car or bus to get to the affected area unless you are going to a specific place with a group with a particular mandate. During the Niigata EQ wanna-be volunteers showed up in different places in the prefecture and expected NGOs or Government officials to pick them up and take care of them. In Kobe, many volunteers needed to be fed and housed. This caused a lot of problems.

3. Sending random items to random places
We want to make sure our actions will have an impact and help someone so we should send particular items to specific groups helping people.
Let me share a real story: During the Niigata EQ 1 Japanese woman thought it would be helpful to send some tampons as these are items usually forgotten in emergency relief kits and women rarely feel they can complain about this. After buying a box of 8, she sent to the Niigata City post office. Who knows where this box of 8 went? And come-on, a box of 8?
Usual items needed: non-perishable food, blankets, warm clothing, tampons, diapers and medical supplies but these will vary by what the groups can bring and are doing Know the specific requests: for example medicines will often not be distributed if the packaging is open, or specific clothing might be useful. Maybe they will only accept NEW clothing – we should respect the dignity of people in need and not send junk.

Sorry that this happens but there are people trying to take advantage of others. Please be careful:
1. The chain email
Please be careful of the emails from unknown persons – a general rule – this time the chain emails are scamming people all over.

2, “Fundraising” scams
Unless you are a member of a group, they will not send you an email asking for money. Even then – they send you THEIR bank details so you can make the transfer not vice versa.

3. False information:
Passing around false information that is forwarded on some of the social networking sites can really hurt. if you are not sure if it is true, look it up, ask people if they know about this, where they got the info etc. It does not help to panic people when there is already a traumatic situation at hand.


2 responses to “Things to Avoid

  1. sarajeanr

    March 16, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    please spread the word about what we can do to help!

  2. Bernd Nurnberger

    June 8, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    One more example where caution may be advised:

    Two volunteers told me of a relief-truck hi-jacking near Ishinomaki. On June 05, they drove the company truck to help

    When they had delivered half of their bicycles to the designated school in Ishinomaki they asked for the way to the next place, a shelter where they were to meet the other (rental) truck from bikesforjapan. On the way they were stopped by a guy in a car who was dressed like a monk and offered to show the way. They followed. When they arrived at a shelter they had the presence of mind to call the first place only to find out they had been diverted. Quick turn and went to the right place. Nothing happened but some loss of time.


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