State health officials do not expect significant levels of radioactivity to drift to Washington as a result of damaged nuclear reactors in Japan melting down. In Bellevue, relief is tempered by concerns for Japan, devastated by an 8.9 earthquake and the tsunami that followed.
Bellevue's Office of Emergency Management offers resources for people trying to find out the status of people in Japan as well as ways for people to contribute to relief efforts. Emergency Management also offers tips and training for preparing for a disaster.
For residents fearful of radioactive fallout from Japan's crippled reactors reaching Bellevue, the state Department of Health has issued an advisory stating, "there's no health risk. Japan is thousands of miles from our state, and if radioactivity from the reactors there is released to the upper atmosphere it would be thinned out by the winds before it could reach us." Washington Department of Health FAQ
Concern for Japan's people is strong in Bellevue, which has the highest percentage of Asians of any city in the state, with many Japanese-Americans living here. The city has a seat on the board of the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington and has a sister city, Yao, in Japan.
To learn about the status of someone in Japan, residents can access Japan Quake Crisis Response (English), Japan Quake Crisis Response (Japanese) or, to learn the status of Americans in Japan, the State Department. Most telecommunication providers are offering free calling and texting to Japan.
Those who want to support relief efforts can find useful information at the Crisis Response pages mentioned here, as well as InterAction, which has a long list of nonprofit agencies helping Japan.
Bellevue residents can take simple steps to prepare themselves and their families for a natural or man-made disaster striking here. The city's Office of Emergency Management offers details and training.
In the case of an emergency that impacts Bellevue, the city will post emergency information on its website. Residents can sign up for e-mail alerts, to receive either an e-mail or a text when information has to be posted to that page. You can register for emergency calls from the regional dispatch center (reverse 911).
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