Natural disasters such as the earthQuake and tsunami in Japan disrupt traditional channels of communication. When homes are destroyed, cell communications towers toppled, and people taken to emergency rooms or worse, there is very little in the way of a full organized registry of people who may be missing.
For this, Google deploys its People Finder tool. People Finder is a simple tool to allow people affected by the quake and those who are trying to communicate with them to register their status. The tool is multi-lingual.
Person Finder: 2011 Japan Earthquake, allows people to either post updates about themselves or search for information already posted about someone else.
People looking to provide information are taken to a detailed screen that allows them to input data. Those looking to gather information need only to type in part of a person’s name and can search the results.
It was recently deployed for the victims of the Christchurch, New Zealand Quake last month which kept a registry of 11,500 people. It was also deployed for the disaster in Haiti.
Google Crisis Response
Local Japan Emergency dials:
171 + 1 + line phone number to leave a message
171 + 2 + line phone number to listen to the message
Phone numbers to consult about missing persons: (Japanese language)
Fukushima: 0120-510-186 / 090-8424-4207 / 090-8424-4208
You can also donate to the Japanese Red Cross Society through Google on this page.