Japan is a safe country. You can sleep on a train, you can leave your bag on a seat and get a coffee and you can walk alone at night.
But when we think about natural disaster, we have to say Japan is a very dangerous country.
If you live in Japan, you can’t avoid natural disasters wherever you are. If you live in the southern part of Japan, you need to be careful with typhoon and heavy rain. If in the north, you have to think about heavy snow. If near an active volcano, which Japan has a lot, prepare for an eruption.
But the most frequent and the worst disaster is an earthquake. It occurs quite a lot everywhere in Japan. It sometimes causes Tsunami, landslide and fire. We are trained to prepare for the disaster since we are young.
Here I share the important information to survive.
First, answer these questions and let’s “Do or Die”!
You are in the office. Suddenly a big earthquake like 3.11 occurs. What do you think you should do?
A. Rush outside.
B. Hide under the desk.
C. Open windows and doors
If the building starts to shake, you might feel it’s going to collapse and you would choose A. Rush outside. But this is the worst choice. If you go outside, you can see thousand pieces of broken glasses with sharp side down is falling on you. This was the first thing we were told. Never go outside during a quake if you don’t want to die.
Since you can’t go outside, you might think you want to at least keep the way out. But when the earthquake is large, you can’t walk or even keep standing. If you try walking around you might twist your foot or fall off. If you get hurt, it’s difficult to evacuate after the quake.
So what should you do? Office desks are unbelievably strong. Believe or not, even when the upper floor falls down, desks will keep their shape and protect your life. So the answer is B.
When 3.11 occurred I was in my office in Tokyo. The quake level was quite high and everyone didn’t move but went under the desks. No one gets hurt.
After a big earthquake occurred in Kobe, 1995, government has changed earthquake resistance standards much more strict. The buildings or houses built after that year have strong durability. But there are still many old buildings and houses. Worse than that, Japanese old houses are usually made of woods, which means weak and very flammable. If you live in “Apaato”, it’s made of wood. After a quake, leave the house as soon as possible.
We have evacuation places in every area. These places are big and quite safe even after a big quake. The places are usually parks and schools, within 10 minutes walk from everyone’s house. Check the place around you before it’s too late.
If your house is broken or flown away, you can still have a place to sleep in safe. The places are called “Hinanjo”. It’s a big place with walls and roof like a gym at school. A government and volunteers are rush to these places and will provide what you need. There is not enough privacy and carton beds are not comfortable, but at least you can do without starving and shivering.
Japan has experienced lots of earthquakes, so we are totally ready for the next one. So don’t rush and don’t worry. I can say if you know these things, you can survive.