Minato city prepares families for major earthquakes

By on October 3, 2014

In 2012, Scientists in Japan had predicted that Tokyo will experience another shake in the 7 magnitude range  by or around 2016 which could put 8.9 million people’s safety under threat.

When the March 11, 2011 earthquake took Japan residents by surprise, there had been at least 1.4 homes without water and some 3-4 million without electricity. Trains were momentarily shut down with all landlines including cellphone lines blocked leaving most Japan residents incommunicado and in great trepidation. The only forms of communication people had access to were Facebook, Skype, Viber and Fring.

The Minato Ward office had recently issued the Disaster Prevention App free of charge for Android and IOS-powered mobile phones and tablet users. It illustrates in 3D images, the depth of tsunami inundation including hazard maps complete with FPS that gives out information on the user’s location. The app is in 3 language modes: English, Chinese and Korean. Everyone is encouraged by the ward office to download it in preparation for emergencies.

earthquakeThe Minato city office also suggests the following safety guidelines to everyone:

1. Secure your home in order to avoid furnitures from tipping and falling in the event of an earthquake which leaves one in two people injured.

2. In the likelihood of another earthquake, determine the best way your family will keep in touch with each other about their whereabouts and safety. Learn how to use an emergency message (MB service). Minato city offers disaster-related information via email.

3. Decide on a specific meeting place, wide-area evacuation sites, centers, and routes. High-rise building residents should not, according to the Minato City, rush outside but remain calm and secure their safety.

4. Stock up on a 3-to-7-day emergency supply appropriate to your family size’s needs such as drinking water, food and portable toilet including the basic essentials. Minato City offers disaster supplies to residents and workers in the city.

5. Read the Disaster Prevention guidelines issued by the Minato City for household disaster reduction measures available to Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean-speaking families.

Involve your family in Community Disaster Drills. Minato City’s next drill schedules:
Oct. 4, Sat 9:30-11:30 am, rain or shine, Daiba – Odaiba Gakuen, Koyo Elementary and Junior High School
Oct. 4, Sun Shiba – Toritsu Shiba Park
Azabu – Roppongi Junior High School (cancelled in case of rain)
Oct 26 Sun Takanawa – Takamatsu Junior High School
Shibaura – Shibaura Elementary School
Nov. 2 Sun Akasaka – Aoyama Junior High School
Nov. 9 Konan – Konan Elementary School and Konan Junior High School, Konan Waraku Park

Evacuation for handling smoke
Firefighting training and handling of a fire extinguisher
First aid training
Earthquake simulator
Aid Drills
* Activities vary depending on the site.
* Organized by the Collaboration Project Section of the Regional City Office

Wi-fi is important in keeping contact with families.  Registering as a free Starbucks wi-fi user now will come handy when a disaster occurs.


Useful English resources

Japan Quake Map

Earthquake Track

Minato City

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