(!)Tsunami in Japan: How You Can Help

(!)Tsunami in Japan: How You Can Help

With the devastating earthquake in Japan, I felt an extra blog post today was warranted so I can do my part to help streamline information on what you can do to help.

The first is Yahoo News! Canada – the Daily Brew blog link:
Japan earthquake and tsunami: How to help


The second is CNN’s link:
Tsunami aid and relief: How you can help


Both articles have numerous links within them that direct you to options for how you can help. If you’re from Canada go to the first link, Yahoo News. If you live in the US, go to the CNN link,which I discovered by retweeting @Nate_Berkus. Many of you may remember Nates’ own devastating tsunami tragedy in 2004; Nate will be an exclusive live guest tonight (March 11, 2011) on Piers Morgan Tonight.

On a personal note, you may have seen my retweet of @sid_dickens tweet. Click here to read the tweet. The photo in this tweet is an aerial view of Sandspit on Moresby Island, where Sid Dickens has a studio home. The tweet mentions Haida Gwaii (formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands), and this area is very close to my heart as I was born and raised in the community of Queen Charlotte. Coincidentally, the last time I mentioned this was in a post about Sid Dickens’ memory blocks


A CBC update to the above tweet: Carol Kulesha, the mayor of the village of Queen Charlotte, officially called off the state of alert for that island’s residents, but warned boaters to remain vigilant. “You should be aware that strong currents and waves can occur and they can occur for a long period of time afterwards,” Kulesha said.

As an adult I worked for 15 years in the schools, and along with the standard fire drills, emergency drills were also conducted for earthquakes and tsunamis. Growing up I never really believed a tsunami would hit us. We felt many earthquakes, some of them quite high on the richter scale (click here to read about the 8.1 in 1949), but the intensity was never the same as in so many other areas where the same size quake would be a true disaster. So I guess this added to the sense of complacency.

Even when my Mom worked for the Village of Queen Charlotte, and was part of the team that updated the emergency evacuation plan, it still felt like a formality without that sense of reality. My parents’ home was one of the evacuation gathering places. Their home was located on Forestry Hill, which is quite a high, steep hill overlooking Skidegate Inlet and the community of Queen Charlotte. In fact, here is a view from the water I had tucked away. Forestry Hill starts at the bottom left of this photo just up from the water.

You can see from this photo just how pristine the area is, and why an earthquake wouldn’t be as impacting as it would be in a city where there are more homes, and that are built much closer together.

Here is a partial view from my parents’ home looking out over the inlet… their view actually swept the inlet and the mountains to the west (which is to the right in the photo).


The large island you see in the background is known as Maude Island, and the aerial view in @Sid_Dickens tweet is to the left (the East), which you don’t see in this photo at all.

Now to give you perspective on how high up the hill their home was, here is a similar view from the home I owned (the home was under construction in this photo):

From my home you can see the main road – you can’t see it at all from theirs.

Here’s another view from my home looking to the West toward the community of Queen Charlotte.

This gives you some perspective on how the community is built along the shoreline. Beyond the mountains you will find the ruggest West Coast, and beyond that the vast Pacific Ocean that stretches out to Japan. There is nothing in between except the Pacific!

And just to finish off, here’s a photo showing you a storm rolling in:

My house is still under construction in this photo; you can see the builders trying to get more time in before the storm hits! Can you see the birds soaring? Note the clouds. This really is the calm before the storm…

My heart is heavy, as I try to grasp the devastation in Japan. Please be good to yourself, and those you care for. Be kind to your neighbours, and thoughtful of strangers passing by…

Here are the links once again for what you can do to help in the wake of the horrific devastation in Japan…

The first is Yahoo News! Canada – the Daily Brew blog link:
Japan earthquake and tsunami: How to help


The second is CNN’s link:
Tsunami aid and relief: How you can help


If you haven’t done this already, now is not too late to make sure you have your emergency kits prepared. Click here for multiple checklists (Victoria based) to guide you. Do you know your evacuation route and where you’re supposed to go? Take the time now to make sure…

For a glimpse into the spiritual and beautiful Sendai before this horrific act of Mother Nature, click here.

With thoughts and prayers…

Photos: Sheila Zeller


4 thoughts on “(!)Tsunami in Japan: How You Can Help”

  • Wonderful post Sheila – it was so scary this morning thinking of Freddie and his family and then finding out that they were safe – modern technology is so wonderful. I absolutely love your pictures – so many wonderful memories – I do miss it so much, you never know maybe we will retire there some day. My mom-in-law lives in your town I am hoping you two will meet up some day you would love each other.

    • Hi Tammi,
      What a nice surprise! Thank you SO much for commenting 🙂 I was so relieved to read Fred’s FB post that he and family are safe. Eileen and Doug are in Hawaii, and I’ve also heard from them, again safe and sound. I found myself feeling quite emotional when posting the pictures… so truly, your comment is like a note from ‘home’. Who is your mom-in-law? It’s such a small world, isn’t it? Thank you again for connecting… Hugs back, xo Sheila

  • Sheila.

    The more I know about you and read your posts, the more I admire you.

    You’re a inspiring and kind woman. Thanks you for this post. It’s a great and very important one.

    Also, I want to thank you for your kind words. You’ve made me cry! 🙂 Oh, and if God help us to sell our house and move back to BC, we should get together some day, ok?

    Have a blessed week, my friend.


    Luciane at HomeBunch.com

    • Hi Luciane,
      If you find yourself back in BC, I would love nothing better than to get together. To meet you in person would be such a great moment. You are so supportive, kind, and and always encouraging. For that there are not enough thank you’s to express my gratitude… So simply put, thank you Luciance from the bottom of my heart. xo Sheila

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