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Whilst we have been monitoring the situation carefully it is very unlikely ShelterBox will be responding.See below for Alf’s analysis of the criteria from the Operations team. Please let me know if this timely example raises any questions or concerns.

Number of families needing help

Q. Will at least 200 families still require emergency shelter by the time the aid is distributed?

Yes. With at least 2.5M people subject to evacuation orders, with a further 1.5M people reported to have been displaced, the numbers are huge. However, the key element of this question is “by the time the aid is distributed”. As our aid is not prepositioned in Japan, the fastest estimate (given that we could find a consignee, and without any Japanese Government official request for aid this must be factored in as a time element) would be approx. ten days, Japan’s substantial disaster preparedness contributes to them being in the bottom 5-10% on the country vulnerability list. This is backed up by SB’s experience during the 2011 earthquake, where our aid had relatively little take up due to speed of rebuild, and cultural appropriateness. GDACS and Alertnet are not reporting this event at all, which is further indication that whilst a large event, does not represent a humanitarian crisis in the traditional sense. Our assessment is the Japanese internal response (both Governmental and Community) will of taken care of the need in this time.

Length of time help will be needed

Q. How quickly will the need for emergency shelter reduce based on our knowledge of previous disasters, and will the shelter aid be required for at least a month?

Rapidly reducing. Given the factors affecting the answer to the first question, it is unlikely. The speed and magnitude of the Government’s response (based on observed events of this magnitude e.g. 2011 Earthquake) means better alternatives will be available very quickly.

 Possible speed of self-recovery

Q. How quickly will people be able to recover based on measures like how much money they have, availability of building materials, resilience of infrastructure like hospitals and transport, access to previous jobs and livelihoods, insurance payments, government compensation, or availability of relief packages?

Rapid recovery. Japan is 179 out of 194 in the LACK of ability to cope scale. The high resilience of infrastructure is a key factor in speeding up the recovery process compared to our more frequent response countries. Japan being in an earthquake and tsunami prone area, well organised and high GDP they are well prepared to recover and assist self-recovery.

Local capacity

Q. What is the capacity of local agencies or communities to help? Are other actors or agencies already meeting the needs? Are there marginalised vulnerable groups or areas that aren’t getting any help?

See above. The government of Japan have mobilised 73,000 staff.

Cultural and contextual suitability

Q. Is our shelter aid culturally and contextually suitable? We ask questions like: Do families need to stay in their location to keep possession of their land? And, would families be willing to share a space, like a community centre, with other families?

Note: We will always ensure the aid we provide is appropriate for the cultures of families in need of support and the conditions they are living in.

Not really. From our previous deployment to Japan (the only time in 18 years), tents and shelterkits are not a common preconception of what housing solution is expected and the teams experienced low take up of tents, compared to the number of families in temporary collection centres. Due to very strong cultural reasons, a coordinated, Government led, uniform response based around temporary housing is expected.

ShelterBox resources

Q. Do we have the resources like people, finances, or appropriate aid, to commit to helping for the duration of the needed response?

Yes. We have enough to respond at this time snapshot, but with planned responses in Kenya, Ethiopia, and an above average hurricane season forecast, more vulnerability and need exists elsewhere at this time, and is also predicted to be .

Safety of the ShelterBox team

Q. Can we respond safely; what is the local security situation?

Yes. Japan presents very little security concerns above the weather conditions driving this event.

Type of aid

Q. Will a distribution of only our ‘non-shelter’ items save lives? Items classified as ‘non-food items’ are things like water filters, blankets, and mosquito nets.

No. Neither the climate, nor environmental conditions present a major threat to life in general, particularly when combined with the developed economy disaster response and the high levels of infrastructure.

Government response

Q. Has the affected country’s government declared a state of emergency and/or requested assistance from either local or international NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and/or will the government permit our response?

No official state declaration of emergency or request for aid has been announced.

Sphere definitions

Q. Do the vulnerabilities of the families we want to help fall within Sphere definitions?

No. The developed nature of Japan, high infrastructure and rapid Governmental response means there are no reports of any population falling below SPHERE standards at this time.

Global development index ratings

Q. What are the global development index ratings using Inform’s Global Risk Index, OECD’s list of countries eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA)?

Very low. 157 out of 191

Our speed and efficiency

Q. What is the predicted speed and efficiency of our ability to respond; where will our aid add greatest value to the families affected by the disaster?

We would be behind the main effort of response as the internal speed of recovery is rapid. We lack a consignee, and without an official call for aid it would be difficult to import aid, and we have no prepositioned aid in country.