Sunday, March 13, 2011

UPDATE: RescueNet Deployment Information for Japan


Where do I start…? It’s been a crazy past few days for me and the RescueNet team. We at RescueNet have been tracking a number of global situations around the clock with Libya & Japan being the highest profile cases. Libya is still too dangerous for RescueNet to deploy but we have not stopped monitoring the events that are happening there. When the fighting dwindles down, the needs will be enormous. The United Nations estimates 1,000,000 people will need aid in the days following the end of fighting there. We may be able to serve then. For now, it is far too unsafe to enter.

Japan, however, is a much more stable situation. News coverage is ubiquitous so I am sure you have seen some already. has some of the best. The images and videos are staggering and surreal. It looks like a movie only more intense. The latest reports put the number of fatalities around 10,000. It is very tragic.

RescueNet has 10 team members on standby but NOT on active deployment as of yet. We are in the process of communicating with the Japanese embassy to get an official invitation to help. RescueNet team members want to be there to help save lives and stabilize people’s emotional health. At this point the country of Japan has not issued an open call for aid, but rather accepted a few specific offers from international groups. Without an invitation any aid group, including RescueNet, is unable to render assistance within another country. The same would hold true for any foreign entity wanting to help in the US, Canada or any western nation. You can’t just drop in because you want to help. You have to go through official channels. So we wait.

We are not at a standstill though. We have two individuals on the ground in Japan to team up with some colleagues. Through these preexisting relationships we may be able to get better information of exactly what the damage is and where the help is most needed. The news is not the most reliable source. We can also possibly receive an invitation for our team to come and assist.

Please be in prayer for us as we seek information, relationship and a clear sense of where our resources can best be used. The damage is great, but that does not mean it is the place for us to be. Many of you know the mandate for RescueNet is the developing world; places that don’t have the availability of resources that the US and other first-world nations have access to. While Japan was hard hit, they were also very prepared and capable of responding. If this had happened almost anywhere else, the damage would have been magnitudes worse. Japan is arguably the most prepared nation in the world to handle quakes and tsunamis. After all, tsunami is a Japanese word.

You may be asking, “What does this mean for you? Are you going?” The answer is NO, I am NOT going but I have been and will continue to help with details of the deployment. I still have to complete one more training phase before I can deploy to a disaster. Please click here to read my last post about RescueNet and what my next steps are.

If you are able to help financially to send our RescueNet team to Japan if we do deploy, that would be a huge blessing to the team since we are an all-volunteer team and we have to pay our own way and purchase our own gear. If you would like to donate, click here.

If you have ANY questions at all, please do not hesitate to email me back or call me. I will update you as more information comes in. Also, be sure to read my previous update on my involvement with RescueNet(click here to read).

In Christ,

Tyler E. Dean

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