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Jeremy Hobson: President Obama this morning released a statement, saying in part that the U.S. “stands ready to help the Japanese people in this time of great trial.” The White House says that includes financial support. Phone lines to aid groups like the Red Cross are already ringing. But what will Japan need, exactly?
Marketplace’s Gregory Warner has that.
Gregory Warner: Nan Buzard is senior director of international response and programs for the American Red Cross. She says these first hours — since she got the call about Japan — are different than when she was alerted to the earthquake in Haiti.
Nan Buzard: I say that cautiously because we don’t know the full extent of the damage. When we responded to Haiti we knew that there weren’t tarps, not tents available in the market and we knew that hundreds of thousands if not more would need emergency shelters.
Eleven Japanese Red Cross divisions have already been mobilized. And at the American Red Cross, the phones are ringing with calls from volunteers.
Buzzard: Earthquakes in particular and the tsunamis they can create are extremely dramatic. And people want to know what’s happening and how they can help.
International search and rescue teams are on stand-by. The U.S. Navy says their ships were unaffected by the tsunami, but were ready to provide disaster relief if needed.
I’m Gregory Warner for Marketplace.