Japan is a country that shakes.
It has many active volcanoes, Mt. Fuji being one of them, and it sits on what is known as the Pacific Ring of Fire which includes well know trouble spots such as Indonesia and Thailand.
And this is nothing new at all. Japanese people are used to quakes and a 100 years never go by without a big one with or without a Tsunami.
Last week we did an evacuation drill from our building complete with helmets and survival back packs. In Japanese school children are taught to get under their desks to avoid things falling onto them.
To feed the fear there are innumerable TV shows which kindly inform you of the dangers of fire and or glass falling from buildings and of course how to protect yourself from it.
So last night it shook again. I think I was at the door in under a second…..
There are some basic rules which will increase not only survival rate but also your chance of escaping whatever structure you are in. It is best to apply them unconsciously when you feel the shake.
As you get used to it you can start judging the measure of panic to add to the situation….
These are in order of importance
1. Turn off any fire.
2. Get in a place where nothing will fall on your head.
3. Open a door or window
Door frames bend in earthquakes and the door gets stuck. This is why it is important to create an escape route. But not at the cost of getting knocked on the head by a falling bookshelf. So when you feel calm, open the door.
●Have a survival bag ready (clothes, toiletries, portable radio, flash-light, batteries)
●Keep tinned food crackers and bottles of water ready in your flat.
● Know where to go next (assembly spot, embassy, school,)
Simple rules for basic situations.