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Japan: Training for disaster prevention

The first week of September in Japan is the Disaster Prevention Week [ja]. During this week schools, organizations, offices and so on come together to organize disaster prevention training.
Severe earthquakes, inundations, fires and other types of disasters are simulated and every citizen is required to participate.

In a country where every year there are approximately 100,000 earthquakes (including many that human beings cannot perceive), everybody lives their life being aware that a calamity could happen anywhere at anytime and they need to know how to deal with it in the quickest and most effective way.

By Flickr id: Nemo`s great uncle

By Flickr id: Nemo`s great uncle

Obarin, who works for the Red Cross, describes what the training was like in his city. (Excellent pictures are also provided with the post)

私たちの住む町では、地区ごとに防災グループが組織されて日ごろからいろいろ活動してます。
そんな彼らのグループ内では、テントの設営とか消火訓練などを実施してます
私は赤十字奉仕団ですから、ほかの仲間とともに「災害ボランティアセンター」の運営訓練を
実施しました。今回は町の防災士も参加してくれて、熱意が感じられましたよ。
倒壊家屋も訓練用に設営され、被災者役の男性たちを彼ら災害救助犬が捜索します。
彼ら消防レスキュー隊は倒壊家屋の下敷きになって脱出できない被災者を救出します。
県の防災ヘリも参加して、被災者を吊り上げて搬送する訓練も見せていただきました。

In my town, every ward was organized into a disaster prevention group and participated in several activities starting from early morning.
Among those groups there were those who learnt how to erect a tent and those who were trained to fight a fire.
As I belong to the Red Cross, together with my colleagues we held courses teaching people how to manage a `Disaster Prevention Volunteer Center`. The firemen of the town also participated with enthusiasm. A session to teach what to do in case of building collapse was set up and rescue dogs were trained to look for victims.
The firemen’s team also simulated the rescue of people trapped in collapsed houses. The emergency helicopter of the prefecture took part in the training as well and showed us how to lift and carry injured persons.


Video by Tokyo MX on a disaster prevention training held in western Tokyo last August.

A blogger living in Shizuoka Prefecture (south of Tokyo) explains what he learnt this year.

8月 11日に静岡県を襲った 震度 6弱の地震。その地震で、あらためて災害に備えることの大切さを知りました。
そして、先週から、「県の防災週間」がはじまり、静岡県内の各地で、巨大地震 (震度 7以上) を想定した防災訓練が行われています。

On the 11th of August a tremor with an intensity [*] of less than 6 struck Shizuoka Prefecture. This made me once again realize the importance of preparing for
such disasters.
Last week the “Prefectural Week of Disaster Prevention” started and in every area of Shizuoka Prefecture training for the prevention against a possible severe earthquake (intensity of 7 or more) was held.

[…]

今年度の町内会の組長である小生は、「簡易担架の作り方」コーナー担当でした。毛布とかシーツを使って、カンタンに怪我人などを運ぶ方法を学びました。
ほかにも、防災倉庫に常備されている チェーンソウ、発電機、消化ポンプの使い方。三角巾などを使った怪我人の手当ての方法も学びました。
今年からは、簡易トイレも購入して、その作り方も学びました。

I am the chairman of my town assembly this year and I was assigned to the `how to make a simple stretcher` session and I learnt how to swiftly carry injured people, using blankets and sheets.
I learnt how to use chainsaws, electricity generators and portable pumps, that are always present in the disaster prevention kits, and also how to give medical treatment to an injured person including the use of a triangular bandage.
This year, we also purchased a portable toilet and learned how to set it up.

Fascinating images of the recent training in Adachi Ward (Tokyo) at Kerestinus`s blog.

[*] The Japanese scale is different from the Richter scale. One measures the seismic intensity, the other measures the magnitude of an earthquake.

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