Gathering Information 2

Disaster and disaster prevention information transmitted by local government bodies (May vary from one municipality to the other.)

(1)Disaster administrative radio systems, loudspeaker vans, and emergency radios
Disaster administrative radio systems and loudspeaker vans issue evacuation advisories and evacuation orders as well as broadcasting warnings and alarms. They also broadcast information related to daily life necessities such as locations where relief supplies and water from water wagons will be distributed.
(2)Bulletin boards placed in city halls and evacuation centers
These mainly post safety information and messages from people in the disaster-affected area.
(3)Disaster-prevention information via the websites, e-mail notification services, and official Twitter and Facebook accounts of local government authorities
Your local government office’s website will post up-to-the-minute disaster information, details of its disaster administrative radio system broadcasts, and warnings and advisories. It will also provide information about evacuation centers and designated first aid and core disaster hospitals in your area, information about road conditions and available modes of transport. If you register with your local government office’s official e-mail service or Twitter account, you can also get the aforementioned information sent from the website to your mobile phone o computer. Be sure to bookmark the website and register for the delivered content in advance.

Earthquake Early Warning System

Even a mere ten-second warning before a major earthquake strikes can allow people the time to take immediate measures such as protecting their heads. Earthquake early warning systems notify people that a big tremor is expected momentarily. In Japan, the Japan Meteorological Agency issues early earthquake warnings through a variety of channels, including the disaster administrative radio system, television and radio broadcasts, and e-mail notices sent to mobile phones.

Recounted Experiences

Gathering information

The Great Hanshin Earthquake

Fixed-line telephones were the only mode of communication available to many of my relatives at that time, so we had to use ward office or broadcasting station message boards to confirm that they were safe. Thanks to these message boards, we were able to confirm the safety of relatives who lived nearby within about two days. We were able to get in touch with relatives who lived far away only after the electricity and telephone lines were restored five days later.

The Great East Japan Earthquake

At first I used my mobile phone, car navigation system, and SNSs as well as the radio to get information, but mobile phones and car navigation systems tend to run out of battery power quite quickly, so after that, I had to rely on the radio.

For quite some time, it was very difficult to get gasoline, but Twitter was a useful source of real-time information about nearby locations where gasoline was available, waiting times, and so on, so I was able to put fuel in my vehicle. I was also able to get information about the business days of gas stations and opening hours of boxed-lunch shops.

My television broke in the earthquake, I couldn’t use my mobile phone, and I didn’t have a radio. So I went to public facilities such as community centers and evacuation centers every day for the latest information. I checked the bulletin boards in my neighborhood for information on shops that were open, water rationing, and so on.

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