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From picking safe places in a home to installing strong latches, earthquake preparedness goes a long way when the unpredictable disaster strikes.
An aerial view of damage to northern Honshu, Japan, after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastated the area. Earthquakes can occur at any time of the year, day or night, according to the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross has also listed a number of ways for people to prepare for an earthquake.
Become aware of fire evacuation and earthquake safety plans for all of the buildings you occupy regularly. Keep a flashlight and sturdy shoes by each person’s bed in case the earthquake strikes in the middle of the night. Hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches and anywhere people sleep or sit. Learn how to shut off the gas valves in your home and keep a wrench handy for that purpose.
Learn about your area’s seismic building standards and land use codes before you begin new construction. Japan Info Swap has the best information about living in Tokyo, Nagoya, and throughout Japan in an easily accessible online community. Share the joy!Japan is among the world’s most seismically active countries, which means that earthquakes are a relatively common occurrence. Since a major earthquake in Kobe many years ago, Japan embarked on a mission to improve building codes and procedures.
Building standards become stricter and stricter as the years go on so a rule of thumb is that the newer the residence, the more thought has been put into earthquake resistance.
This is of particular concern for smaller residences, where you’re likely to be sleeping on a futon, close to the television in the living room. In other words, do your windows have a fine line of wires that hold them together in case they break and prevent them from shattering on the floor? Decide how to contact family members, and about where to meet for both a daytime and nighttime earthquake scenario. Look into disaster information options from your mobile phone provider such as this one from Softbank, this one from au, or this one from docomo. Emergency survival bag (put in an easily accessible place known to all family members) : valuables such as cash including change, passports, foreign registration cards, credit cards, bank passbook, drivers license.
Find good guides to earthquake preparation on the internet – even if they are not for your area much of the information contained is useful. While there are no guarantees that being prepared will ensure your safety in the event of a major earthquake, it could potentially make a huge difference should the worst happen. Lease Japan also offers an emergency disaster kit that can be tailored to fit the size of your family. Most people living in seismic zones the world over do little to prepare themselves for earthquakes.
At the University College London’s EPICentre, my colleagues and I conducted a study to examine the issue. In light of the low number of protective measures adopted in all three cultures, it might come as a surprise that there was very high awareness of how to prepare oneself for earthquakes. Why, then, do so few people in all three cultures make efforts to mitigate the damage that earthquakes may wreak?
Participants in all three regions saw themselves and the groups to which they belonged as, in some way, helpless. These ideas about fate and destiny were also interwoven with assertions of human agency and control from Turkish respondents. The culture that felt the most anxiety, panic, pain and other negative emotions related to earthquakes was Turkey. First, there were references to awe, fascination and exhilaration in relation to witnessing an earthquake. Others state that they need to find a way of distancing themselves in order to go on with their daily lives.
Similarly, the dominant emotional component of Japanese associations with earthquakes was concern, worry, anxiety and fear. However, a countervailing discourse, in which earthquakes and other hazards were seen as more prevalent elsewhere was also found.
In both Japan and the United States, people distance themselves from the threat by playing up their own technological supremacy. More than those in Japan and the United States, Turkish respondents expressed a sense that they would be the targets of serious earthquakes.
There was a cluster of morally charged emotions strongly present in the Turkish data that was nearly absent in the U.S. This demise of identity influenced people’s representations of risk because corruption, greed and selfishness were seen to produce vulnerable cities and buildings. Feelings of distrust were frequently coupled with assessments of the vulnerability of the built environment. Anger, too, was associated with the poor state of the built environment and directed at the construction industry as well as the state that regulates it.
The frequency with which respondents compared Turkey to other places was not quantitatively different from either the Japanese or U.S.
Thus, uncovering the emotional dynamics of cultural responses to earthquakes enhances understanding of why people who live in areas of high seismic risk do not act to reduce their risk: mediating emotional variables such as feelings of helplessness, anxiety, demise of identity and distrust may function as barriers to action.
Our findings at University College London corroborate earlier data that has found that those in the United States make more adjustments than the Japanese do. Perhaps cultural processes that direct responsibility for earthquake protection away from oneself and towards other agents might undermine individual preparation in both Japan and Turkey. Ultimately, a combination of high fatalism, high anxiety and high distrust is strongly linked with a lack of action to mitigate damage. Effective tools are often the superpower that managers need to help reduce HSE department workloads. Rather than being cute plush most Japanese earthquake bags are fire retardant, such as this one from a Japanese emergency preparedness kit maker.
There are a few notable differences between Japanese kits and American kits besides the packaging.
See our "Get Ready Quick" section in English, Chinese and Spanish, and download our easy checklists.

In the Pacific Northwest, the area of impact will cover some hundred and forty thousand square miles, including Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Eugene, Salem (the capital city of Oregon), Olympia (the capital of Washington), and some seven million people. Here on the Steamboat Peninsula, we’re used to preparing for a few days without electricity or a few days with limited access to nearby cities. Our own disaster preparedness web page provides a wealth of information to assist in preparing your own home for something more difficult than an emergency. In February, 2001, a landslide took out a section of US-101 and residents had to travel through McCleary to get from Olympia to the Steamboat Peninsula. Area residents cannot help but think, upon hearing news of earthquakes elsewhere along the Pacific Rim, that it’s just a matter of time before something like that happens here.
Washington State Citizen Corps is sponsoring an Emergency Flood Response Management training course.
Description: Tens of millions of dollars are spent every year on emergency flood and bank protection measures throughout the Western United States to protect critical infrastructure and property, such as roads, pipelines, levees, and residences.
Participants will be involved in physical activity and be expected to participate in the various scenarios. The H1N1 virus that is the basis of this new virus is inherently capable of human-to-human transmission, which is particularly problematic.
There is no way to know if the virus we are dealing with today will mutate into new forms, nor can we predict if the virus will become relatively more dangerous if and when new populations are exposed. It is possible that a useful vaccine will be available for fall – and it is also possible that this virus will have morphed into a form that will be resistant to the newly developed vaccine. It will be a significant challenge, particularly if the incidence of flu diminishes before returning in the Fall, for all of us to adopt habits which are effective in slowing the transmission of the flu. The Griffin Neighborhood Association maintains a list of emergency preparedness information, and information tracking the incidents of 2009 H1N1, on its web site.
Today the Department of Homeland Security declared a public health emergency because of the spread of the a variant of swine flu to California, Texas, Kansas, Ohio and New York.
The swine flu infections in the United States have produced mild illnesses so far, but CDC officials said in a press conference Sunday that that is expected to change, that more cases would be diagnosed and that cases that are more serious would develop. Symptoms are similar to seasonal flu, which includes headaches, body aches, coughing and fever. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified the strain of swine flu and is prepared to distribute a quarter of the U.S. For local residents monitoring the situation and interested in planning, particularly should the situation worsen, we’d like to direct your attention to the web site of the Griffin Neighborhood Association. CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Training and Map Your Neighborhood training courses are upcoming, beginning in February. CERT is a training program that prepares you to help yourself, family, neighbors, and co-workers in the event of a disaster.
CERT training will give you the skills to help emergency responders save lives and protect property. Identify the skills and equipment inventory each neighbor has that are useful in an effective disaster response.
Create a Neighborhood map identifying locations of natural gas and propane tanks and identifying those neighbors with specific needs. Work together as a team to evaluate your neighborhood after a disaster and take the necessary actions. Start a neighborhood group by attending a 2?hour MYN Train?the?Trainer session, which provides you with important information on how to effectively facilitate a neighborhood meeting, details the 9 Steps to Take Immediately Following a Disaster, and answers any questions or concerns you may have. Once trained, you may order the MYN Program materials through your local county or city Emergency Management Office.
After facilitating a MYN team, fill out the MYN Postcard and send it to your county or city Emergency Management Office. Click here for more information, including a schedule of presentations and a list of vendors, information and displays. Thurston County Emergency Management has useful online resources, to help you to begin your emergency planning. For more information about the Griffin Neighborhood Association’s emergency preparedness efforts, click this link to visit our web page. A safe place could be under a piece of furniture or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that could fall on you.
If you do not have sturdy furniture to hold on to, sit on the floor next to an interior wall and cover your head and neck with your arms. Small tremors are usually felt in some part of the country everyday, and there have been several big quakes in the last few years, most recently very near Tokyo in Tohoku.
This is particularly important on the upper floors where shattering glass can be a rain from above for people walking down below. There are things to bolt your furniture down, padding to put under the furniture to make it harder to fall down, and a whole range of items that you would need if a major earthquake prevented you from living a normal life in your home for an extended period of time. Remember that in the event of a disaster different phones will work in different areas depending on which transmitters have been damaged. Tokyu Hands, a wonderful store that sells everything you never knew you needed, is a good starting point.
We interviewed North American, Japanese and Turkish people living in highly seismic coastal regions (Seattle, Osaka and Izmir, respectively) that have not been directly affected by earthquakes in recent years. When asked to choose and rank the five hazards they deemed most personally threatening among 20 human-made, natural, health and societal hazards, earthquakes were in the top five in all three locations. Our research suggested that the clue may lie in peoples’ sense of agency and control in relation to earthquakes, as well as in their emotional and moral responses.
While respondents often pointed to the uncontrollable nature of earthquakes, many indicated that humans could mitigate their effects.
For the North Americans, these emotions were held in relation to the massive disruption to infrastructure that an earthquake had the potential to produce. The main object of fear was not concern for infrastructure collapse, however; it was for personal safety and the well being of others in the event of collapsing structures.
Experiences with disastrous earthquakes in other parts of Turkey had created a strong emotional response. Just under half of the participants directed blame for this state of affairs towards government and state institutions. Other researchers have attributed this to the nation’s respective individualist versus collectivist cultural orientations. Helene Joffe is a reader in psychology, and University College London and social science lead on EPICentre, UCL's interdisciplinary center for the study of earthquakes.

The San-X chara shop released a number of emergency preparedness kits in plush backpacks, including  Hello Kitty, the popular Rirakumma bear and Tare panda. The Red Cross can teach you to be prepared for any disaster with their collection of preparedness and safety apps. When the next full-margin rupture happens, that region will suffer the worst natural disaster in the history of North America. This year, in addition to checking the wood supply and tuning up the generator, why not spend a little time preparing for something more than just winter?
In a disaster, though, we know we’ll need to be prepared for one, two, or three weeks on our own. A big earthquake is not only likely to take out bridges on US-101 in both directions, it’s expected a good sized quake would cut off portions of this peninsula as Steamboat Island Road, itself, could be made impassable. Bayside Towing (360-455-1314), Summit Towing (360-754-8858?) and Howard’s Towing (360-943-6644) are suggestions. Among these are simply hand-washing, staying home from school or work if you are feeling flu-like symptoms, and coughing into your sleeve.
These materials include the MYN Neighborhood Handout Shingle, a Discussion Guide, CD and DVD, which contains several forms, resources and information. Take a look at our blog, sign up for the X-Pat Files newsletter, or download our free eBook about living in Japan and get the latest and greatest information on the web! While the damage was very significant, it is important to note that damage and deaths from one of the largest earthquakes in human history were remarkably limited, and most were the result of the tsunami; not the tremor. Even the much bemoaned walls erected to keep Tsunami waves at bay, which turned out to be much too short, did in fact hold back the waves for a time, and probably saved hundreds or thousands of lives. There is a sticky film you can buy from the home center or Tokyu Hands to stick over the windows for this purpose. Japanese people even ranked earthquakes as the most personally threatening of all hazards despite the fact that the study was conducted before the tragic 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. These can be framed as three barriers to preparation for earthquakes: fatalism, anxiety and distrust of authorities.
Negative emotion may cause paralysis, while positive emotion may allow feelings of control and agency to endure. This fear was compounded by reference to the force of shaking, the noises of the earthquake and the pervasive sense of having everyday reality violently re-arranged into a threatening form.
It was constituted by aspersions of corruption and incompetence towards politicians, civil servants, planning regulators and the construction industry.
However, the content and psychological consequences of the Turkish comparisons were distinct. The kits are shown with a modicum of supplies, including water, dust masks, a radio and other go bag staples. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Earthquake Survival Manual suggests crackers, instant noodles and retort rice (shelf stable pre-cooked rice). You probably already have most of what you need, so check out our Get Ready Quick page and put together one of your own. The Emergency Preparedness Expo is a great one-stop solution to address planning and equipment needs. Disaster preparedness requires a plan that includes working with some of your neighbors a block or two in any direction from your home.
Click here for that web page, which presents information both for families who just want to beef up their preparedness plans and for neighbors who want to work with other neighbors, to craft a more comprehensive approach to disaster planning. A variety of links on that page will get you to local and national informational resources. Steamboat Neighborhood logo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License Click here for details regarding the Steamboat Neighborhood artwork.
So while it is important to be prepared for a disaster, you should keep the danger in perspective. In exploring these findings, we discovered some clues as to what may be driving these low levels of uptake, particularly in Japan and Turkey. If you think these are adorable, you can make your own by creating a personal earthquake kit for yourself or your kids in a plush backpack. This is a great opportunity to meet with equipment vendors and local agencies who are planning not only for winter, but for something far more challenging. The declaration frees up national resources necessary to monitor and, it is hoped, to control the spread of the disease. Seminars, lots of free information, and vendors selling all sorts of emergency preparedness equipment will fill the St. Among all those interviewed, it is safe to say that the awareness was generally high regarding both the danger posed to their region by earthquakes and steps that could be taken to prepare. In contrast, the Japanese cultural and political emphasis on collectivism and state action is reflected in greater responsibility attributed to the state on the part of Japanese people.
Inflatable air bags to protect against falling items, parachutes for quickly evacuating tall buildings and tents that automatically unfold from wallet-sized packages? Your personal earthquake kit is meant to help you be self-sufficient for at least three days.
The BBC posted an article about Japanese earthquake kits, detailing the contents of an earthquake kit.
If you take only one thing from this article, please be pro-active and prepare your family and home for a disaster.
They range from retrofitting one’s home to ensuring that heavy objects are securely fixed. You can stock extra supplies in your home earthquake kit, including additional food and water for two weeks. FEMA projects that nearly thirteen thousand people will die in the Cascadia earthquake and tsunami. Another twenty-seven thousand will be injured, and the agency expects that it will need to provide shelter for a million displaced people, and food and water for another two and a half million.

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