The Earthquake, Tsunami, Aftershocks and Nuclear Issues were not in Tokyo proper, but still this is the closest experience I have had being in a disaster area. Tokyo was effected but certainly not in the same way as the areas that were in the path of the Tsunami. During these past months TokyoHackerspace, a group I am a founder of- hosted some amazing people and has been working on relief projects from solar lanterns to helping the safecast.org group with their distributed radiation data.
Relief 2.0 via Carlos is one org that has really made me reflect and learn more about disaster response. Relief 2.0 seeks to help when big government and ngo agencies are too bogged down in red tape and slow processes to see to immediate needs. It is collaborative- not taking the place of these groups but helping in a more nimble and flexible way. Their catch copy is "running the last mile to provide efficient disaster response with dignity, inclusion, generation and distribution of wealth"
I guess I am just posting this as an update and to say I am pondering the changes in disaster relief due to social media, DIY access to before out of reach technologies and the good parts of the global economy. It is interesting to note how much has been changing even since Katrina. More thoughts on this down the line in the coming weeks and months I am sure.