Ishinomaki Report and Needs

As of March 24. Needs change rapidly as more survivors are found, more aid enters media-focused towns/cities, etc.

From S.Aoyagi: The small town we visited in Ishinomaki was Watanoha. If you go there, talk to Nakamura-san, or Suzuki-san, whom I talked to to take us around.  They will be willing to do so again. Just go to “Watanoha Shisho” (town office), and find them.

From R.Lowther: Shelters now all (most?) have what they need. Neighborhoods do not. No wonder! Every supermarket, store, gas station, restaurant…everything in the city is closed. Many people are staying in their homes to continue cleaning them and their neighborhoods…and to stay away from the disease we hear is spreading in the shelters.

Two ways to reach neighborhoods with food:

Neighborhood Stores

Seima, Thierry, and I went to the city hall of Watanoha, a suburb of Ishinomaki just east of Minato Elementary School. Offered food. They said there was nowhere to store it, but we could take it around neighborhoods. A man from the city hall came with us to act as a guide. Very successful distribution of goods. We put the boxes open on the street and people take what they need. Creating open air “stores.” People kept asking who we were. We told them we were representatives of Shiogama Baptist Church (the very alive church where we were staying in Shiogama)

Open Air Stores

A businessman offered Grace City Church to send up a 4 ton truck full of supplies and a driver, all for free! L.Cummings in Sendai introduced us to two men who are working with the Nippon Foundation. F.Masahiro and S.Uesaka.  They hold a meeting every night (!) with heads of volunteer organizations to share information, figure out where the needs are, and plan who is going where the next day. At the meeting tonight, they are going to make a list of what is needed and email it to me along with an address of where the 4 ton truck should go. They will then make radio announcements through the day on Friday letting people know that our truck is arriving at 2 pm on Saturday. It is basically a planned open air “store” for the community. We saw one small pick up truck set up by a main road doing the same thing, with many people on bikes taking supplies. These kind of open air stores are crucial to provide for the needs of the community until stores open up.

One more note: The government is putting up prefab housing all over Ishinomaki as quickly as possible. The hope is to move people out of shelters soon and into this housing, and then focus on rebuilding communities. It looks like it will be hard to cooperate with the government on the building of these prefabs but this needs to be investigated further.

Needs (from Nippon Fdn guys via L.Cummings):

  • Bottled water
  • Food
  • Tissue
  • Toilet paper
  • Diapers (baby/adults)
  • Powdered milk
  • Vegetables/fruits
  • Clothes
  • Women’s sanitary items (napkins rather than tampons
  • Rubber gloves
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo

Also:

  • 食料(アルファ米・パックご飯・乾パン・カップ麺等)> (rice, instant rice, dried bread, instant ramen, etc.)
  • インスタント味噌汁・スープ>  (instant soup and miso soup)
  • ガム(歯磨きの代わりに)> (gum to replace brushing teeth – esp. in places without water)
  • 塩・調味料> (salt, spices)
  • レトルト食品、おかずになる缶詰で缶切り不要のもの、汁物 (readily edible food packed in plastic)
  • レンジが使えないので、カセットコンロのある被災者宅へのお届けとなるが、あったほうがいい)
    カセット式コンロ・ガスカセット(温かい飲み物食べ物を提供するために)(gas stoves and bottles)
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