Disaster Response, Ongoing

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(日本語訳:Disaster Response, Ongoing, Japanese)
CAJ continues to carefully monitor the situation following the historic disasters beginning on 3/11. This posting will be used for updates on current activities.

Updated Announcement: February 24, 2012

  • CAJ staff had a consultation with Dr. James Lindgren, a disaster response specialist with training in radiation concerns, and he tested the area by the drain previously tested by the city. He confirmed both the readings and their report that the area was not of concern. Dr. Lindgren's services were provided to CAJ by SEND mission.
  • Although experts, including the city, had told us that these slightly higher readings were not a problem, out of an abundance of caution we decided to proceed with mitigation work. After further negotiations with the city, they agreed to help us with mitigation of the drain area. The city did not pay for the work, however, they provided us with a list of recommended contractors and supervised the process. This included repeated testing of the area before, during and following the clean up work. This work was completed over the winter break. We continue to be thankful to the city for their support.
    • If you have questions or concerns, please contact your divisional principal, a member of the Leadership Team, or the headmaster at bvanderhaak@caj.or.jp
  • From January: At our request, the city office conducted testing of our campus for radiation on December 16, 2011. We very much appreciate their willingness to professionally test our facility! They provided us with the results as well as detailed information. We are delighted to report that they found no areas of concern. One of the numerous locations they tested did show readings higher than the normal background readings, but below the minimum level set by the national Ministry of Education. That area is inside the circular drain by the auditorium building at ground level. One meter away (outside or above the drain) show the same normal readings as the rest of the campus. The numbers for that area are low enough that the city does not intend to do any mitigation or cleanup. However, out of an abundance of caution, we have fenced off the area, and we are investigating a number of options.
  • Invitation to a free seminar about radiation issues (in English only - no translation provided):
    • On Sunday, January 15th, from 6-8pm at the SEND Center in Higashi Tokorozawa, Dr. James Lindgren will be presenting a basic seminar on Radiation Safety, and SEND mission has extended an invitation to the CAJ community. The SEND Center is a 5 minute walk from Higashi Tokorozawa station on the JR Musashino Line. Please input the following address in your navi for directions.

359-0023
埼玉県所沢市東所沢和田2−4−12
Saitama-ken Tokorozawa-shi
2-4-12 Higashi Tokorozawa Wada

  • CAJ administrators and staff will also be consulting with Dr. Lindgren about safety issues.
    • If you have questions or concerns, please contact your divisional principal, a member of the Leadership Team, or the headmaster at bvanderhaak@caj.or.jp

Post disaster stress:

  • We always seek to be aware of stress levels in our community, and we are carefully monitoring students, staff and families for indications of lingering emotional effects from last spring.
  • Our health coordinator attended STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness & Resiliency) training this fall at Eastern Mennonite University in the US. We thank the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (connected through CRJM - one of our founding missions) for their cooperation with funding this.

Radiation concerns:

  • CAJ staff have attended information seminars by Tokyo government, the American Embassy, and SAFECAST, a private organization dedicated to testing for, and providing information about, radiation in Japan.
    • Safecast has agreed to provide an informational seminar for our community at a date to be determined.
  • We have sought training and understanding of the limitations of testing for radiation by individuals who are untrained or who do not understand the equipment and its limitations. For that reason we are not seeking to have testing done by CAJ staff or untrained persons.
  • Our school doctor reports that he believes there is no reason to worry about the area around campus.
  • We are carefully monitoring data about radiation levels.
    • The aerial survey of radiation completed by the government shows the greater Kanto area to be safe.
    • We are continuing to monitor information about food supplies and water and indications from both the government and organizations are that conditions are safe.
    • We are in contact with Higashi Kurume city officials about their testing program in this area. The school directly across the street from CAJ and the park nearby campus were tested and found to be within acceptable limits.
    • Testing done by Safecast in the Higashi Kurume and greater Kanto area to date indicate radiation conditions are where they were for Tokyo before 3/11 (and lower than regular background radiation in a number of other major cities in Asia).

Disaster preparedness:

  • CAJ has a designated Crisis Team and a Crisis Plan that includes a schedule for practicing fire, earthquake, lock-down, and shelter-in-place drills.
  • Our safety equipment is checked according to a schedule by both CAJ staff and by professional companies. Recently we upgraded our fixed evacuation ladders and equipment.
  • A grant from the US government allowed us to cover all our glass window and door surfaces with shatter resistant film.
  • A Leadership Team member is currently doing a collaborative and detailed review of our Crisis Plan. This review will incorporate feedback from staff and parents generated in the weeks following 3/11/11.
  • In recent years we have placed AED's (automatic defibrillators) in several places on campus, and we continue to increase the number of staff trained in first aid, CPR and AED usage. Currently all Leadership Team members, coaches, and staff who accompany overnight events are required to be trained, and many others have voluntarily sought this training. We have two certified trainers on staff. High School students also receive this training in Health class.
  • Our campus is a designated evacuation center for foreigners in case of an emergency. We have a stockpile of supplies that is regularly inspected by the government, as well as our own portable power generators to maintain critical services.

Contact us:

  • Please help us stop the spread of false reports and rumors.
  • If you have questions or concerns, please contact your divisional principal, a member of the Leadership Team, or the headmaster at bvanderhaak@caj.or.jp