Consumer Co-ops "Heavy Rain" disaster volunteer support activates in Okayama, Hiroshima and Ehime Prefectures (As of August 21)


The heavy rain brought enormous damage to the western Japan area in July 2018. 
JCCU in cooperation with consumer co-ops nationwide started sending emergency supplies to the flood victims immediately after the disaster. Support items include bananas, beverages, soups, instant noodles, salt candies, toilet papers, wet tissues, soaps and shampoos in response to the local government’s request. JCCU and its member co-ops also dispatch volunteers and give personnel support.
Activities in Okayama Prefecture
Kurashiki City in Okayama Prefecture was damaged heavily by the rain and flood. Okayama Consumers’ Co-operative Union has established within the organization "Okayama Co-op disaster support information center". The co-op supports relief activities by Kurashiki City Volunteer Center settled and run by the Kurashiki City Social Welfare Council. The volunteer center has three satellite offices in Mabi area to accept volunteers. Okayama co-op supports volunteer activities in one of the satellite offices “Satellite YATA”. The support is coordinated by 4 volunteer workers, 2 from Okayama Co-op and the remaining 2 dispatched from Co-ops nationwide. 
Experienced staff from Co-op Kobe and Miyagi co-op offering support at the disaster volunteer center
In addition, volunteer staffs are dispatched from co-ops nationwide for various works including accepting volunteers at the volunteer center, running the parking lot of the volunteer center, tidying up homes suffered from the disaster, and removing sediment and sand. Volunteer workers are drawn mainly from Tottori Co-op, Palsystem Consumers’ Co-operative Union, CO-OP CS Net, Co-op Shimane, and Osaka Prefecture Consumers’ Co-operative Union which operates a volunteer bus while volunteer staff from Osaka Izumi Co-op, Osaka Yodogawa Co-op, Osaka Palcoop, Medical Co-operative Union Hokusetsu and Osaka Co-op participates in the operation.
State of Volunteering by staff of Tottori Co-op
Okayama Co-op offers dinner box at the evacuation center in Mabi area upon request of Kurashiki City government. Since August 1, the co-op has been offering 500 meals a day and plans to gradually expand to other evacuation centers. Besides, Okayama Co-op is engaged in making ice blocks and delivering to the volunteer center to cool drinks.
Activities in Hiroshima Prefecture
Hiroshima Consumers’ Co-operative Union has established within the organization "Co-op disaster support information center" which mainly supports the Aki Area Disaster Volunteer Center in Hiroshima City. The co-op provides operational support by three volunteer staff, one from a co-op in the prefecture and two from co-ops nationwide.
JCCU has started dispatching nurses to the Aki Area Disaster Volunteer Center, as requested by Hiroshima Consumers’ Co-operative Union.
Activities include observing and ensuring the health management of participating volunteers to prevent heat stroke, insisting on hand washing, gargling and drinking more water to prevent hydration when work is completed, etc. 
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State of support activities by nurses
Activities in Ehime Prefecture
At Co-op Ehime, the Ozu home delivery center got flooded and the home delivery trucks (17) got disabled temporarily. Under this circumstance, many staffs of the co-op are engaged in disaster recovery volunteer works from July 14. Also, upon request from Uwajima City, the co-op has been delivering lunch boxes to nine evacuation centers since July 30.
Home delivery truck of Co-op Ehime with a reconstruction assistance sticker affixed
Activities in Shimane Prefecture
The village along the Go-no-kawa River in Gotsu City in Shimane Prefecture also suffered tremendous damage. Co-op Shimane staffs are engaged in volunteer activities in the area. The co-op has also dispatched staff volunteers to Okayama prefecture, one of the worst damaged areas.
Activities in Gifu Prefecture
In Gifu Prefecture also there were areas where rivers overflowed and suffered great flooding damage. Co-op Gifu organized visiting activities to the afflicted area in the prefecture, and supplied co-op members and other residents with towels, cold tea, gloves, masks and detergents.
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A state of sympathy activities by Co-op Gifu
Activities in Kyoto Prefecture
The Kyoto Consumers’ Co-operative Union, as a constituent organization of Kyoto Prefecture Disaster Volunteer Center, is promoting support for the affected areas. The co-op is responsible for assisting the application for disaster volunteer to the north of Kyoto Prefecture operated by the center.
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 (Left) Phone reception by co-op staff at the volunteer center / (Right) seeing off a volunteer bus
Initiatives making home delivery fee free for victims (Okayama Co-op • Hiroshima Co-op)
As part of the support for victims, Okayama Co-op and Co-op Hiroshima are making individual home delivery fee free for those who suffered from the heavy rain damage. Okayama Co-op is providing this service for a period of 6 months while Hiroshima Co-op is doing it for 1 year for all those using the home delivery service, including those who become co-op members after the disaster.

tags: 2018 Japan floods, disaster relief, home delivery