The media coverage of Japan’s worst ever natural disaster, the 2011 Sendai earthquake and tsunami, has given the world an unprecedented first hand view of the shear destruction that’s been inflicted upon this island nation. However, while arresting YouTube videos of the surging tsunami wave and live satellite feeds of the unfolding nuclear crisis capture center stage of America’s televisions, I can’t help but feel the real story, the suffering of the countless Japanese families who have literally lost everything, is receiving short shrift.

The Japanese were the best prepared “first world” nation on Earth when it came to quake and tsunami preparedness. Japanese officials made their emergency plans, informed and educated their citizens, and used the best technology available to monitor potential problems and alert the public when the danger warranted. And when the fateful day arrived, everything went exactly according to plan. And undoubtedly, many many lives were saved. But no reasonable extra measure of planning on the part of the Japanese people or their government could have prevented the horrific damage and destruction that nature unleashed upon the northeastern coast of Honshu.

My point is that many victims of natural and man made disasters bring much of their sorrow upon themselves by scoffing at preparedness or choosing expediency over proper safety procedures and sound building codes. Some simply fall victim to their own ignorance and an inexplicable failure to act in their own best interests. But not the Japanese. The Japanese did their due diligence. They did exactly what needed to be done. And still it wasn’t enough to protect them from what nature had in store. The Japanese not only need our help, they have, through their actions, earned and deserve to be helped in every way possible. And that is a story truly worth covering.