WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the U.S. Government through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) that includes disaster response experts, nuclear experts, as well as urban search and rescue (USAR) teams from Fairfax County and the Los Angeles County Fire Departments. The USAR teams arrived at Misawa Air Base, Japan on Sunday and included 144 personnel, 12 canines trained to detect live victims and 45 tons of equipment.
The USAID DART is working to manage the overall U.S. Government response effort in Japan in coordination with the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. The USAR teams have established a Base of Operations (BoO) and are sending out initial reconnaissance teams to priority locations as identified by the local authorities - the Ofunato area in Iwate prefecture - at first light this morning.
In addition, the USAID DART also includes four members with nuclear expertise from the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). These four team members are currently in Tokyo discussing with their counterparts ways the U.S. might be able to assist Japan if needed.
For individuals and businesses who wish to help those in Japan, we encourage making a cash donation to a reputable organization working in the affected area. Nothing will get there faster or help more at this time.
For more information about USAID's emergency humanitarian assistance programs, please visit: www.usaid.gov.
Last updated: June 13, 2012