Earthquake preparedness in Japan

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With much of Japan in ever-present danger of being wiped out by an earthquake, and with the recent launch of the earthquake early warning system, the Cabinet Office Japan decided to take a look at earthquake preparedness.

Demographics

Between the 4th and 14th of October 2007 3,000 adults from all over Japan were randomly selected. 1,757 of these took part in face-to-face interviews. Age and sex breakdown was not reported, although Cabinet Office surveys tend to have a more even age spread than other surveys.

If you live in Tokyo, the bad news is that the city is overdue being flattened by the big one; Nagoya is due to be hit by a tsunami, and Osaka will probably get the two for the price of one. We’ve actually just bought emergency kits; actually, it was stored up points from my credit card, so we spent it on two evacuation kits and a table-top stove. I don’t think we have a gas canister for that, though… We usually have a bath tub of water sitting around, but we’ve got a funny toilet that won’t flush when the electricity’s off. If the worst comes to the worst, we plan to evacuate to the next-door town; we live on the border between two, and across the line is a posh school that’s bound to have decent facilities and is slightly closer than our official emergency centre, a dingy, slightly falling down concrete shed.


Research results

Q1: Have you thought about getting your own home strengthened against earthquakes? (Sample size=1,757)

Plan to get work done within a year1.8%
Plan to get work done, but not within a year3.1%
Don’t have a plan, but would like to get it done sometime (to SQ)26.7%
Don’t have any plans at all (to SQ)47.2%
Already had work done16.8%
Don’t know4.3%

Q1SQ: Why don’t you have any plans to get your own home strengthened against earthquakes? (Sample size=1,299, multiple answer)

Takes too much money41.9%
Don’t feel it’s necessary27.9%
Live in shared accomodation, rental house, etc, so cannot choose to do it myself23.3%
Not clear if it would have any benefit13.4%
Don’t know how best to do it9.2%
Too much trouble4.2%
Would make the house look ugly1.9%
Other5.0%
No particular reason2.0%
Don’t know0.8%

Q2: What sort of preparation have you done in case of a large earthquake? (Sample size=1,757, multiple answer)

Have portable radio, torch, medicines, etc prepared58.9%
Have emergency food, water supplies prepared36.0%
Have decided on nearby school, park, etc as evacuation location33.5%
Always keep a full bath of water27.6%
Have decided how to keep in touch with family in emergency25.6%
Have furniture, refridgerator braced against falling over (to Q3)24.3%
Have water buckets, fire extinquishers prepared24.0%
Have valuables, etc, ready for emergency evacuation23.1%
Have emergency clothes, blankets prepared14.3%
Have proactively participated in disaster drill12.5%
Have a home that is strong against earthquakes10.9%
Had a home earthquake resistance survey and dangerous points highlighted4.8%
Have had block walls checked to prevent collapse4.7%
Other0.5%
Nothing in particular14.5%
Don’t know0.3%

Q2SQ: Why do you not have furniture, refridgerator braced against falling over? (Sample size=1330, multiple answer)

Too much bother26.9%
Don’t think bracing would be effective in a big earthquake17.0%
Don’t think it would be dangerous if it fell over14.4%
Don’t think my furniture would fall over in an earthquake12.6%
Takes money to do11.7%
Would damage the walls, furniture11.6%
Don’t know the best way to brace furniture11.4%
Know what to do, but don’t think I can do it myself11.5%
Makes the room look ugly5.0%
Other5.0%
No particular reason10.8%
Don’t know1.8%

The respondents were then shown a card describing what a hazard map was. These contain information prepared by local government on predicted earthquake strength or tsunami height, estimates of casualties, evacuation routes and evacuation points.

Q3: Which one of the following best described your actions regarding hazard maps? (Sample size=1,757)

Have confirmed earthquake disaster information on a hazard map24.9%
Went to confirm earthquake disaster information on a hazard map, but couldn’t find one3.9%
Haven’t confirmed earthquake disaster information on a hazard map, but want to do so56.5%
Haven’t confirmed earthquake disaster information on a hazard map, and don’t have plans to do so7.7%
Don’t know7.0%

Q4: Supposing you had an earthquake early warning broadcast system installed in your home, what sort of preparations do you think you would make? (Sample size=1,757, multiple answer)

Confirm what sort of actions such as hiding under a table, going to a safe area at home, would be needed51.1%
Ensure there was a safe area within the home41.4%
Talk with family about that sort of actions should be taken33.1%
Other2.8%
Nothing particularly comes to mind8.0%
Don’t know0.7%

Q5: What do you think are good ways to send earthquake early warnings? (Sample size=1,757, multiple answer)

Television84.8%
Radio54.5%
Mobile phone53.0%
Disaster management wireless broadcast speaker system48.0%
Broadcast at work, school45.7%
Broadcast inside deparement store, supermarket, etc40.1%
Broadcast within station39.7%
Computer display, audio16.4%
Home intercom syste,9.8%
Dedicated device5.3%
Other0.7%
None in particular0.5%
Don’t know0.2%
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1 Comment »

  1. John J. Wang said,
    April 10, 2012 @ 01:24

    Referring to “Emergency preparedness kits in high demand
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    Feng & Wang Co., Ltd.
    5th Fl., No. 9, Gaopeng Road, Yangmei City, Taoyuan County 326, Taiwan
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  1. April 7, 2011 @ 20:56

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