The volunteer effort for the victims of the tsunami has not really begun in earnest. Of course, the first responders are there in full force, but great numbers of untrained people have not yet been taken up on their offers to help.
Before this can happen, the areas have to be secured, the need assessed, and a structure put in place by large organizations like the Japanese Red Cross. What they don't need is a bunch of unprepared amateurs going up on their own, getting hurt and further burdening the system.
I have met one small group of these first-responders. It is led by three brothers who have gotten permission to drive supplies up to the tsunami-hit regions on roads that are currently closed except to emergency vehicles. They are bringing much needed supplies that have been donated from the surrounding American army bases, local churches and schools.
They have given me permission to travel up North with them tomorrow and document their effort. This will be my first time out of Tokyo since the earthquake, and so it is the first time for me to see these devastated areas apart from the TV news.
I look forward to sharing with you their story when I am back in a couple of days.