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Update: April 6, 2011: GE continues to monitor and respond to events in Japan following the unprecedented natural disasters and the events at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant. Working with our partner, Hitachi, we’ve engaged more than 1,000 current and retired nuclear engineers to provide technical assistance to Tokyo Electric Power Company, the government of Japan, and other government agencies and customers.

Our first concern continues to be helping the people of the Japan recover from the crisis. GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt visited Japan on April 2 and during that time announced that the GE Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of GE, will be doubling its financial support for relief efforts to $10 million. The funds will be used for long-term relief and recovery within the affected area, including medical and energy equipment and continued support to relief agencies. (Details about the initial $5 million pledged immediately following the earthquake and tsunami can be found in our original report, below).

As of April 5, GE employees from 40 countries have pledged more than $941,000 in cash to disaster relief organizations associated with the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. With GE Foundation Matching Gifts, this overall GE employee commitment has surpassed $1.88 million. These donations are above and beyond the $10 million commitment announced by GE.

Over the long term, GE is looking for ways to assist with efforts to rebuild critical infrastructure, such as hospitals and power generation and transmission equipment. As part of this effort, GE has prioritized resources to help Japan meet emergency power demands and has now made more than 20 gas turbine units available for Japan, including 10 flexible-use TM2500 aero-derivative engines. These will be ready for operation by the beginning of this summer, when demand – and the potential for blackouts — will be the greatest.

Update: March 17, 2011:
 GE continues to monitor and respond to events in Japan following the unprecedented natural disasters, including events at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant, which suffered a loss of power after a tsunami struck the site.

Immediately following the magnitude 9.0 offshore quake and tsunami, GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt announced that the company will commit $5 million in cash, equipment and services toward relief efforts in Japan. Some of these donations have already been identified and put into place.

  • The GE Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of GE, has committed ¥100 million (USD$1.25 million) to Japan Red Cross.
  • The GE Foundation has committed ¥100 million (USD$1.25 million) to Miyagi Prefecture Disaster Response Fund. Miyagi Prefecture is the hardest hit area as its capital is the city of Sendai.
  • A total of USD $0.7 million in healthcare-related product donations have been committed, including handheld ultrasounds. The units are in stock and we are working with the Japanese government’s Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) to deploy the units to medical teams and practitioners assisting victims of the disaster.

As of March 21, GE employees from 26 countries have pledged more than $500,000 in cash to disaster relief organizations associated with the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. With GE Foundation Matching Gifts, this overall GE employee commitment has surpassed $1 million. These donations are above and beyond the $5 million commitment announced by GE last week.

In addition to the ongoing search and rescue missions to recover survivors, the primary focus is to provide relief and assistance to the hundreds of thousands of people who have been evacuated due to the nuclear emergency, earthquake and tsunami. According to the latest update by the Red Cross, cold weather and snow are now complicating the emergency relief operation, which was already challenged by continued aftershocks, fuel shortages and inaccessible roads. Emergency teams still have not been able to reach all the affected areas due to logistical challenges.

In the coming days and weeks, the priorities will expand to reestablishing essential infrastructure and services to the impacted areas while continuing to support recovery efforts. GE will continue to work with local partners and government officials to determine how best to help in the recovery phase.

To this end, the government of Japan is working directly with GE’s leaders in the region to identify GE business capabilities that can help in the recovery and rebuilding phase and best complement Japan’s response capacity.

GE and its nuclear energy business has a 24-hour command center working on the situation that occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and has been communicating with its customers and the Japanese and U.S. governments.

Other efforts continue across the company, such as GE Transportation’s offer to donate a GE Genset, a high-voltage generator powered by a locomotive engine, to heavy equipment maker Komatsu Ltd. to see if it can be of use in its disaster relief efforts.