HESTON, England, March 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- UK-based ShelterBox, an international disaster relief charity that provides emergency shelter and life-saving supplies to families around the world who are affected by disasters, is responding to the 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan.
Based in Cornwall, ShelterBox was one of the first disaster recovery agencies on the ground after the earthquake in Haiti last year.
An initial ShelterBox Response Team made up of ShelterBox field operations specialist, Mark Pearson, and ShelterBox international director, Lasse Petersen, is on its way to Japan to assess the need.
Tom Henderson OBE, ShelterBox founder and CEO, said: 'At present the scale of the disaster is difficult to measure. What we do know is that the combination of such a large earthquake followed by the tsunami has the potential to cause significant damage across the Pacific Rim.
'We have aid pre-positioned locally enabling an immediate response. We also have extensive experience working in the region responding to similar disasters.'
Lasse Petersen, ShelterBox international director, said: 'The scenes we're seeing are catastrophic. Whole homes are being washed away and our thoughts go out to all the families who are facing this disaster.
'The epicentre was in Japan so our first team is heading there but we continue to watch very closely the path of the tsunami. We're very aware the worst may not be over.'
Public donations are vital to ShelterBox's continuing work. To make a donation please ring +44(0)300-0300-500 or go to http://www.shelterbox.org to donate online and get the latest updates on our response to disasters around the world.
Notes to Editors
ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity that provides emergency shelter and life-saving supplies to families around the world who are affected by disasters. In ten years ShelterBox has responded to earthquakes, floods, volcanoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, landslides, typhoons and conflict, delivering lifesaving aid to families across the globe at a time when they needed it the most.
ShelterBox aims to help the areas where the need is greatest by providing shelter, warmth, comfort and dignity to families in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Each big, green ShelterBox is tailored to every disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, water purification and storage equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children's activity pack and other vital items.
From the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, there is no disaster too big or too small for ShelterBox. Simply put, if there is an unmet need for emergency shelter, the charity will do everything in its power to meet that need.
ShelterBox relies entirely on public donations and could not operate without the generosity of people the world over. A box can be sponsored for GBP590 - this takes into account the costs of all materials, packing, storage, transport worldwide and delivery to families most in need at a time of disaster by a team of highly trained volunteers.
Since its inception in 2000, ShelterBox has firmly established itself at the forefront of international disaster relief, providing emergency shelter for the people who need it most on every continent.