Red Cross, Johnstown Flood, Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

How Can You Help with the Relief Effort for the Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster in Japan?

In 1889, the South Fork Dam broke, unleashing over 20 tons of water and massive amounts of debris onto Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a small coal and steel town of ~10,000 people. Officially, over 2,200 people died in the flood and ensuing fire, and many more went missing and were never found. To a small town like Johnstown, the scale of the disaster is not unlike the earthquake and ensuing tsunami disaster in Japan today.

As unlikely as it seems, one great thing came out of that disaster – The Red Cross began offering disaster relief services. Clara Barton, the founder of the Red Cross, led with disaster relief efforts after the Johnstown Flood. The Red Cross has been assisting with disaster relief efforts ever since. In 2007, I was lucky enough to visit the Johnstown Flood National Memorial and learn more about the Johnstown Flood disaster. The sheer scale of it was awesome. The videos posted of the tsunami disaster are even more awesome. The destruction is unbelievable and sad. My heart and prayers  go out to those who have died in this disaster and to those who are working like crazy in the recovery efforts.

I know many people are looking for a way to help with this recovery effort. The Red Cross is a neutral organization that assists in disasters like this worldwide. I saw a message today that United Airlines will even match miles as donations under their Charity Miles program when you donate to the Red Cross.  These miles will be used to help transport people to/from the disaster area in Japan. I am sure we will start seeing more and more programs like this to help Japan recover.

Please consider donating miles through your own airline affinity program or donating cash to the Red Cross.

4 responses to “Red Cross, Johnstown Flood, Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

  1. Interesting article. I never knew how RedCross go started. We all need to give something to help out. It is incomprehensible to me.

  2. I wanted to give a shout out to the Johnstown Area Heritage Association who sent me more info and pictures. Both are now linked to above under Clara Barton’s name and “the scale of the disaster.” The pictures tell a compelling story of the damage and destruction that water can have.

  3. …and welcome to the Johnstown Flood Museum as well!

  4. hi sonya,
    great post! love that you can donate miles to help…. everyone can do something to help! my husband is working on a fundraiser to send medications to help pets who were injured in japan.

    loved your comment about being “consistent” in the 31 day challenge, i think that is a great lesson to take away from the program, there was so much wonderful information and i look forward to moving on and reviewing weekly!


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