Do you know the earthquake emergency warning system? graph of japanese statisticsI omitted to translate an earlier, more detailed, survey on this topic, so instead you’ll have to make do with the highlights from an article published on japan.internet.com regarding a survey conducted by goo Research into disasters.

Demographics

Between the 18th and 22nd of October 2007 1,086 members of goo Research’s online monitor panel successfully completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 53.1% were male, 16.6% in their teens, 18.5% in their twenties, 21.4% in their thirties, 16.2% in their forties, 15.6% in their fifties, and 11.7% aged sixty or older.

Whilst we all hope that we don’t need it, there is always the risk of being hit by an earthquake, typhoon or other natural disaster in Japan. One important service offered by NTT is their Disaster Emergency Message Dial, basically an answering machine service that allows people to leave messages accessed through their home phone numbers. The linked site provides full English-language instructions on how to use it. Connected with this are the Broadband Disaster Message Board (web171), and the Mobile Disaster Message Boards, for DoCoMo, au, and SoftBank.

Note that the Broadband Disaster Message Board does not have an English version, which is pretty useless for relatives from overseas who might wish to check up on you, and, when you read the fine print at the bottom of the front page, you see that the recommended OSes are Windows 2000 SP4 and XP SP2, and the recommended broswers are Internet Explorer 5.5 and 6.0 only. Even better, you cannot interact with the buttons if you have JavaScript disabled, and the w3c validator dies trying to verify the code!

The final service is the Earthquake Early Warning system which detects a quake as soon as it happens, so if you live a little away from the epicentre you get a few seconds warning of the impending shock.

Research results

First, 49.1% of the sample had had cause to contact family, friends or others due to learning about a disaster, although the scope of the term disaster is not discussed. It may cover man-made disasters like train or car crashes. This group was then asked the following question.

Q1: When you learnt about a disaster occurring, how did you get in contact with people that might be involved? (Sample size=533, multiple answer)

  Votes Percentage
Talked on a fixed-line phone 379 71.1%
Talked on a mobile phone 232 43.5%
Mailed from a mobile phone 176 33.0%
Mailed from a PC 78 14.6%
Talked on an IP phone 28 5.3%
Used disaster emergency message dial from a fixed-line phone 22 4.1%
Used disaster emergency message board from a mobile phone 13 2.4%
Used an Instant Messenger on a PC 6 1.1%
Used disaster emergency message broadband service from a PC 3 0.6%
Other 8 1.5%

Q2: When you learnt about a disaster occurring, what method did you use the most to get in contact with people that might be involved? (Sample size=533, multiple answer)

  Votes Percentage
Talked on a fixed-line phone 281 52.7%
Talked on a mobile phone 117 22.0%
Mailed from a mobile phone 100 18.8%
Mailed from a PC 12 2.3%
Talked on an IP phone 9 1.7%
Used disaster emergency message dial from a fixed-line phone 5 0.9%
Used disaster emergency message board from a mobile phone 2 0.4%
Used an Instant Messenger on a PC 1 0.2%
Used disaster emergency message broadband service from a PC 1 0.2%
Other 5 0.9%

Q3: Were you able to get in contact with people that might be involved? (Sample size=533, multiple answer)

Yes 64.0%
No 12.4%
Sometimes yes, sometimes no 23.6%

Looking at the more detailed information, those using an Instant Messenger got through 83.3% of the time, although from a sample size of just 6. The next most successful method was mobile phone email, with 67.6% getting through every time they needed it. The worst-performing methods were mobile phone voice calls, getting through every time 55.2% of the time, then 45.5% had success with disaster emergency message dial from a fixed line, and last was mobile phone disaster emergency message board, with just 38.5% reporting success.

Q4: Do you know that the earthquake emergency warning system being offered to the public from the 1st of October 2007? (Sample size=1,086)

Know about it 69.4%
Just heard of it 21.1%
Don’t know it 9.5%

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