another necessary off-topic post. My friend Alex over at Technomancer has blogged about this and I simply spread the word further:
To all the people on the good planet Earth, the crew of Tokyo HackerSpace has a message that we would like to send to you:
By now, everyone knows of the crisis in northern Japan. It will still be a few weeks before life is under control here. We are looking forward to the day that the power plants are safe and the tremors have subsided.
Many of our members have been cooped up in our homes waiting out the storm, but not laying idle.
The Japanese government is doing the best that they can to manage the crisis and help people who have lost loved ones, homes, utilities and possessions.
Tokyo HackerSpace has already begun to lay plans for projects which we feel can help the people of Japan, utilizing the best of our abilities and resources.
Our first course of action has been to order up the required parts for 150 solar powered LED lanterns. We will be assembling them here and shipping them up (or delivering by hand) to aid organizations. These lanterns provide just enough light so that people can feel safe at night without power, find their way in the dark, and maintain the sense of community. They charge during the day via the sun, and will help to light the way for 8 hours each night.
We also have on the way several geiger counters and geiger tubes, from which we will be making community sensors, in order to help to keep the public in harms way informed on a minute by minute and hour by hour basis. While the initial exposure has been low, our concern is the long term effects, food and water supply, and ground soil conditions over the next several months.
Or longer term projects include solar cell phone charging stations, low energy cooking equipment, internet, wifi, and laptop loans, and other technical concerns.
We are calling upon Hacker Spaces all over the world, and friends of Hacker Spaces, and friends of friends of Hacker Spaces, to help out.
Soon we will release a list of critical equipment and supplies which we may have difficulty sourcing locally. If you have access to anything on the list, please contact us to make shipping arrangements. If not, please DO NOT ship us anything not on the list (In some cases, it may be VERY specific). Items not on our list will only crowd our space and waste your shipping money and time. If you have something specific or unique you think we could use, feel free to send us an email and inquire.
In the meantime, we ask that anyone who can, please donate to only reputable charities. Or, if you prefer, you may donate directly to us, and we will utilize it for the above mentioned projects, or give the money directly to Japanese aid organizations known to be doing good work in the area.
You can donate via Paypal to theTHSstore@gmail.com
Good night and good luck.
Also, my wife and me have have donated funds to Shelterbox, and I urge you to do the same or follow one of the links in my earlier post concerning Japan.