Apr 04 2009

Earthquake in Japan

Category: Japan RelatedIchiban @ 3:22 pm

Are you prepared?
There haven’t been many tremors lately has there? You know that that means, right?
There is bound to be a quake soon and even after 15 years in Japan I don’t have a survival kit ready. I really need to get my act together.


Water: I should buy a case or two of mineral water next time I go to the supermarket. Check the use by dates and mark them on a calendar somewhere to make sure I replace and use them before they go bad.

First Aid: I’ve got a kit in the bathroom but maybe I should keep it outside in the garden shed (with the spare water). If the house is badly damaged, I may not be able to get to the bathroom.

Tools: Got plenty of them in the shed. I think I’m ok here.

Supplies: We’ve been a bit short of cash lately and I noticed all our can food has been approaching expiry so we’ve depleted all our canned food stock. Need to go to Costco and get a few 6 packs of all my favorites. Baked beans! Yum.

Sanitation: Can never not have enough toilet paper. Get lots of it. If you don’t have a garden shed you can buy large plastic cases that can be padlocked shut. Easily breakable if you lose the keys. Toilet paper takes up lots of space but you need to keep it in a dry place.

Clothes: Might be a good idea to put some of your old clothes in the shed too. Rain coats, warm ski wear… You may need to sleep in it. A small tent or two. Our shed is quite big but probably not big enough to sleep more than 3.

Bedding: Sheets and blankets are handy but there are good cheap sleeping bags available at shops like Sports Authority. I got mine.

Documents: Always a good idea to have copies of important documents somewhere. If possible you can scan them and store them in a password protected online folder or on your USB flash memory, SD cards (in your pocket/wallet). Paper copies may be able to be put in that storage area with the food. Who knows, you may decide to flee the country if you have nowhere to live. You may have to prove who you are to get new passports etc.

Hopefully the house will still be standing and accessible. May need to keep some of the document copies at somebody else’s house too.

When the house is shaking get under a table or stand in a door way. Cover your head and say your prayers!

More info:

Please find here under an Emergency Earthquake Manual

*as taken from a Japanese pop star’s Twitter — but — it’s very well written and informative. If we are expecting aftershocks in sizes up to M7.0, we think this info is really necessary. If you think this is helpful, feel free to pass on.

? Cash
? personal ID
? Inkan/ health insurance card
? water?no tap water in light of chemical rain and nuclear leakage.. Aim for 3 Liters per person, per day?
? emergency food?canned goods, dry foods)
? cell phone and portable battery charger
? tissues
[ ] towels (5+)
? flashlight (LED lights last a long time)
? heating packs/ pocket warmers
? Saran wrap
? blankets
? photos of family / friends?in case you get separated and need to find someone? ? Whistle?will multiply your survival rate?
? eye glasses/ spare contacts
? medication (if you take any)
? mp3 player (distractions will help calm neves and pass time)
? sanitary pads/tampons (stress can cause your period to come irregularly)
PLUS it acts as a heavy duty gauze to stop external bleeding (better than towels)
? masks (for dust or smoke during fires)
? garbage bags (will keep you warm outside and helps you to not inhale smoke during fires). Newspapers btw clothes will also keep you warm.
If you have kids- diapers, milk, wipes, bottles are unlikely to be immediately distributed at evac centers so keep some extra handy.
? in an emergency situation, banks will allow for cash withdrawal with only personal identification- so bank statements/cards are not priority

?emergency disaster instructions?
?Open doors/windows (you could get trapped indoors if the foundation is damaged by the quake)
?pack necessities and leave them by entrance
?wear shoes with thick soles ( there could be debris outside)
?make sure gas is turned off. Shut off main gas lines. More casualties in the earthquakes are caused by fire, not the quake itself.
?fill tub with water. Water will likely run for a little while after a disaster
?cook rice ahead of time
?charge cell phones
?during blackouts turn off circuit boards. The spark plug can cause fires.
?there will likely be continuous tremors for the ensuing 24 hours
?stay calm. Big tremors have historically never lasted more than 1 minute. Stay under desk or protect head with jacket or shoes.
?plan a meeting point with family/friends ahead of time
?Disaster message board — dial 171 to leave and retrieve messages (can be accessed from any phone)
?phone usage will be extremely limited
?Skype/data will be accessible
?occasionally frauds occur during disasters from ppl calling pretending to be police.
?for dehydration — mix 40g sugar + 3g salt in 1L of water. Better absorption than sports drinks.
?THE BATHROOM is one of the safer rooms in the house, since there is nothing overhead that can fall on you, and out of all rooms, the most number of pillars support the smallest sq. footage. (keep doors open so you don’t get trapped)

?warnings during disasters?
?Indoors: don’t go near leaning furniture, fridge, dressers, glass/bottles
?multiple /large cracks in wall and leaning pillars could indicate potential for bldg collapse — pls evacuate
?stay away from: narrow alleys, cliffside roads, roads by the river, oceans, harbors. Also STAY AWAY from big store windows, block walls, vending machines, telephone poles (as these are highly destructible), power lines (cables can tear and dangle to the ground).
?Subway / underground areas are SAFE. Do NOT rush to get above ground. Underground areas in Japan are designed for earthquakes and the tremors felt underground are half of what is felt above ground. Subway systems are well equipped with disaster equipment. Panicking and running into tracks, or a big crowd stampeding / rushing to the exit will create more casualties than any after shocks.
?people living by bodies of water should stay on HIGH FLOORS of a sturdy bldg (concrete, steel.. Wooden houses will get wiped out in a tsunami). Earthquakes larger than M5.0 will trigger tsunami warnings. Just run upstairs immediately. Aim for HIGHER up, rather than farther away. And stay away from the water as tsunamis occur repeatedly, rather than once.
?wear a helmet. At least a hat. Watch for falling objects overhead like signs or glass from broken windows. Protect your head with your shoes or jacket if necessary and move away from bldg.
?watch for cars or panicked drivers. Stay away from cracks in the ground.
?avoid wearing clothing that is made of flammable fabric (tissues etc)
?keep a mask or a moist towel or plastic bag on you in the event of fire — most victims of a fire come from smoke inhalation.
?in the event of fire, check the direction of the wind and go AGAINST it. evacuate to an area that is away from the wind. (headwind)
?if in an elevator, press ALL the floors and get off quickly! You could be stuck a long time.
?if leaving a bldg, don’t crowd around the main entry. You can get trampled by a panicked crowd.
?if driving, pull over to the curb and stop. Abundance of cars on the road creates heavy traffic and disrupts firetrucks and ambulances from getting to destinations. You are also in danger of wrecks from other panicked drivers.
?stay out of the rain. With the nuclear leakage, better to err on the side of precaution even though we are 100+ miles away. Overloading on seaweed or iodine products in advance may help from radiation building up in your thyroids, as was seen during the Chernobyl meltdown.

?checklist before an earthquake?
? locate a helmet
? do you have emergency food?
? do you have enough water?
? do you have a medical kit?
? do you have a sleeping bag or blankets?
? check the nearest evac center and how to walk there

?NTT payphones?
Public pay phones take highest priority in using open phone lines during disasters so will connect better than cell phones. During disasters, pay phones can be used free of charge but will not dial internationally. Push the “emergency” red button or insert 10 yen (which will be returned). Some will operate by picking up the receiver.

?Important Hotlines?
? people in the affected area:
1. Dial?171?to access the emergency voice mail system.
2. “1” to leave a msg
3. Enter home/ cell phone number
4. Leave a message assuring ppl you are safe.
? family members of those affected by the disaster
1. Dial “171” then “2” + affected person’s phone number, to retrieve pre-recorded messages

?NHK broadcasting? NHK will broadcast messages on TV around safety of impacted persons or messages for missing persons. Call with current safety status or messages for family : 03-5452-8800 050-3369-9680

?Google Person Finder? check if someone is safe: http://japan.person-finder.appspot.com/?lang=en

?Disaster Message Boards provided by cell phone service providers?
Cell phone service will be stalled but email will be working. BBS pages for the following providers:
AU : http://dengon.ezweb.ne.jp/E/service.do

Docomo : http://dengon.docomo.ne.jp/Etop.cgi?es=0


?Twitter SOS tag? Tweet #j_j_helpme including a GPS link to where you are

[FM Iwate? to locate people in Iwate prefecture. fmiwate@yahoo.co.jp FAX?019-604-3122 @fmiwate?#fmiwate

?Making portable toilets? If plumming is down and you are under house arrest for prolonged periods, makeshift toilets will create a less uncomfortable space and prevent the spread of disease. Double plastic bag the inside of your toilet and line with kitty litter or newspapers sprayed with antiseptics. Replace bags as necessary.

?evac centers? http://animal-navi.com/navi/map/map.html

Helpful link: http://i.2chblog.jp/lite/archives/2389640.html

Thank you in advance for passing this information to your friends and relatives currently in Japan.

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