The tsunami damage is almost incomprehensible. The pictures are truly unbelievable, and it is hard to know that just about 200 miles from here, people are suffering from cold, lack of food/water/shelter, have lost everything they own, and quite possibly everyone they know as well. It is just beyond sad.
Brett was working nights since the quake hit to help in-process other rescue/aid workers from all over the world who are here to help, and set up various ways for the people stationed here to help as well. He was put on an air crew as of tonight and is hoping to fly relief missions starting tomorrow. I know that is what they all want to do- help where they can.
Here are a couple pics of the planes that had to land here the day the quake hit, and the passengers that spent the night in the community center on base.
Around here, it is life as normal, or maybe a new-normal. I took Mallory to school today, but it took me 15-20 minutes longer as one whole lane of the road to get there was a line of cars (seriously, at least a mile long) waiting for gas. When I finally got to the gas station, it looked like it was out of gas. On base, we seem to have a full supply so we don'thave to worry about that.
Grocery stores have been wiped clean. I haven't shopped much off base since all this happened, but have heard that they are literally empty. (These are the bread racks at Costco- normally FULL of loads and loads of bread and rolls). I have gone to our commissary here, and other than bread, toilet paper, and batteries, it seemed to be fairly well stocked (and they said they would restock those things soon).
We are experiencing rolling black outs to help with the power issue. With the plant up north going down and so many people have their power knocked out, they are issuing rolling black outs across Japan in about 3-4 hour increments to help "save". I feel like it is the LEAST I can do help!
The only other concern is the nuclear power plants and possible meltdowns. We have been told over and over that they are monitoring the air here at Yokota (they do all the time, just because of some of our less friendly neighbors) and haven't found anything at all to worry about. I know they have a plan to get us out if needed, but as of now, they say it is not an issue. I'll be honest, I can't say it doesn't worry me a bit, but I'm not going to up and run if there isn't a reason to. I want to show the wonderful people of Japan that we are here for them and are ready to do what we can to help. That being said, if there was to be a problem, there are plans in place to get myself, Mallory and Maverick out of here.
But overall we are fine, and have food, water, shelter and heat. That's more than so many have right now. For some reason, all the pictures and videos finally got to me today and I just started crying for all those who are in so much pain right now. I have really grown to love Japan and it just is so hard to see so many suffering. I wish I could do more to help.
Speaking of helping, I think the biggest thing you can do right now is PRAY FOR JAPAN. It seems so simple, but I know it is powerful. The Red Cross is also a very good organization to donate to, and monetary donations are the best way to help right now. I've got a tray of cookies for workers and some hand/feet warmers to bring up to the RC office tomorrow (it is really cold up north still and some of the aid workers are spending the night in a building w/ no heat). If you want you can go online and donate, or if you'd prefer to send me a check, I can bring it into the RC office on base.
I hope this finds everyone well back home. We love and miss you all so much, and are so thankful for your sweet words and prayers.