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Archive for the 'Emergency' Category

3/26/2008

Public Service: Earth Hour 2008

Whether you’re in Japan or Timbuktu, you need to watch this video because coming March 29th, we are going to turn off our lights for 1 hour to fight global warming. :)

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Emergency, Misc | No Comments »

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12/13/2007

Earthquake Early Warning System

Since earthquakes are pretty rampant around Japan, they’ve now made a new warning system that can detect an earthquake immediately after it occurs to warn people before the ground starts to shake.

This system detects P-waves in the immediate aftermath of a temblor and informs people that the destructive S-waves are coming. This groundbreaking Japanese system has been widely publicized on TV and in other media since October, and many Japanese have high hopes for the system.

Difference in Wave Speed the Key
Japan is extremely prone to earthquakes, and these seismic events have caused a great deal of damage on numerous occasions in the past. The development of this revolutionary system is the result of many years of research by seismologists and others. The system uses data collected by the National Meteorological Agency and others via seismic instruments at around 1,000 locations across the country. When an earthquake strikes, the seismic instruments nearby measure and instantly analyze the P-waves. (P-waves are primary waves and travel at a speed of 7 kilometers per second.) The system then notifies the areas that are about to be hit by the slower but stronger S-waves. (S-waves are the destructive secondary waves and travel at a speed of 4 km per second.)

Read the rest here…

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Emergency, Misc | No Comments »

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3/21/2007

EarthQuake Savvy

Now, what’s Japan without monsters, earthquakes and ultraman? Okay, maybe not the first and the 3rd unless you’re a kid, but the second one is really a common occurance in Japan. Since japan is sitting directly ontop of the ring of fire, where volcanoes and earthquakes happen, it’s not uncommon to feel a jiggy or two or three. Oh and not to mention, tsunamis too, which is a common aftermath of a massive quake.

earthquake2.jpg

Shaky grounds

So what do you do if you feel that an earthquake is shaking longer than it should and your cups are broken from falling off the pantry?

Well, I’d suggest to keep a clear head and stop panicking so that you can execute what you need to do better. But I think this Survival Manual by Government of Japan is much more useful in giving you directions should there be a massive quake someday. So it’s wise to download this file and read it at least once.

The common minor rumble is not unusual and most folks are so used to it they don’t even bother getting up. However, we musn’t be let ourselves grow to neglect because you will never know one day, especially with the earth’s global warming and such. However, the good news is with Japan’s technology and readiness for situations like these, it’s the safest place to be whenever there is an earthquake.

As a foreigner living in Japan, I suggest you register yourself at your embassy in Japan so that they can contact your family members in case of any emergencies. Also, learn a few important words such as kyukyu (emergency), kaji (fire) and hinan basho (evacuation area) because should there be an announcement you’ll at least know something is wrong. No, being able to order beer in Japanese doesn’t cut it as an emergency term, sorry :P

Also when looking for a place to stay, look for houses/apartments built after 1980s as the Japanese government started implementing the quake-related construction standards then. It’s definitely a safer bet this way and it will cut your fear that your house will crush while you’re sleeping in the midst of an earthquake, significantly.

If you’re living with your flatmates, friends, or family, you guys should organize a plan on evacuation and to meet up in case of an emergency. And don’t take any elevators, subways or trains in times like this. Know the route to walk back to your home by heart because not only will it serve you on times like earthquakes, it’ll help you aplenty should u miss the last subway home :)

Source:Focus Japan

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Emergency, Misc | No Comments »

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2/21/2007

Health Insurance

If you’re traveling anywhere in the world, you should always ALWAYS make sure you have your personal health insurance covered. This is mainly because if you ever have an medical emergency in a foreign land, you are covered, both your little behind and your wallet. That is why, many countries insist on their foreigners to have health insurance from their own insurance company or take a health insurance offered by their country.

In Japan, the goverment insists that all residents must enroll in a Japanese insurance program. Currently there are two main types of health insurance – “Social Insurance” (KENKO-HOKEN) and National Health Insurance (KOKUMIN-KENKO-HOKEN). Generally, social insurance are for use for employees in companies and National health insurance are used for students and the self-employed.

There are other types of insurance as well called the Mutual Aid Associations (KYOSAI KUMIAI), which cover most public service and private school employees. Under Japanese insurance, you are generally required to pay about 30% of the medical expenses incurred.

Foreigners who come to work in Japan has a choice in their health insurance though. Most of them opt for health insurance from their country of residence or they take up offers from private insurance companies in Japan.

There are some pointers to look out for as an Expat in Japan, here they are:

* Health insurance is mandatory when living in Japan for one year or longer.
* Contrary to popular rumors circulating among the GAIJIN community, foreigners ARE NOT automatically covered by National Health Insurance.
* As National Health Insurance premiums are based on your PREVIOUS year’s income, the first year of coverage is relatively cheap (you pay the minimum required premium).

You also need to be aware of the legitimacy of your Expatriate Healthcare program from your chosen insurance company. Here are some pointers for you to look up on an insurance company before deciding:

1. Underwriter of the product.
2. Standard and Poor’s rating.
3. Emergency Assistance Company.
4. Representative company of the product.

All of that information above needs to be on their website. If not, request a written documentation of the information above. It can save you a lot of trouble!

For more information, visit Gaijinpot

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Administration, Emergency, Healthcare, Money | 1 Comment »

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10/23/2006

Emergency Numbers

Hopefully it will never happen to you, but if you do have an emergency, it can get get quite confusing in Japan, given the variety of numbers to call. Then on top of that is the language barrier. Most emergency numbers can handle English calls but the operator’s English skill probably won’t be that great. They’ll be nervous about speaking English, especially in an emergency situation, so speak slowly and clearly and try to keep calm.

The emergency number is NOT 9-1-1, like it is in North America. It’s the reverse: 1-1-9. Kind of a neat way of remembering it. You’re on the other side of the world, so the emergency number is reversed.

However: This number is only applicable for fire and ambulance services. To get the Police, the number is 110. Better still, to get the English-speaking police hotline, the number is (Tokyo area code) 03-3501-0110. Not an easy number to memorise, certainly. Best to key it into your phone’s contacts.

There are quite a few English services numbers in Tokyo and around Japan. You’ll find a good list here. If you know of any more, please comment with details.

Link:
Metropolis

Posted by Chidade in Emergency | No Comments »

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9/18/2006

Tsunami Warnings

Tsunami, otherwise known as tidal waves, are unfortunately common in Japan. They are usually caused when earthquakes happen under the sea. The water then moves towards the coast quickly, all the time building height and strength. Because of the frequency of tsunami and earthquakes in Japan, the Meteorological Agency has systems in place to alert the general public via television and radio as soon as possible.

Sometimes, while watching TV, you’ll hear a beep and text will flash across the top of the screen. These are also earthquake and tsunami notices, but aren’t as major.

I’ve dug up a video on YouTube that shows what the major emergency alerts look like. The beeping at the start of the video is the official signal start of the Emergency Warning System – and it’s quite spooky. This video was broadcast in July 1993, and it seems that despite the warning, 200 people were killed by the tsunami.

It always amazes me how such a geographically dangerous area (earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes) like Japan and particularly Tokyo managed to get such a large population. There’s a theory that Tokyo is due for “The Big One” – a large earthquake that according to statistics, is overdue by about a decade. I’ll try and write more about that in another post.

Posted by Chidade in Emergency | No Comments »

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10/20/2004

If you are not brave enough for earthquake..try this practice

If some of you really interested in earthquakes and prepare for it for practice, whey don t you visit MEGURO EARTHQUAKE STUDY MUSEUM?
Here you can study the mechanism of earthquake, also you can experience the real earthquake from level 1 to 7, in the house, in the town, also when you are in the skyscraper.
You also can experience how to extinguish a fire, room with full of smoke and how to escape from it, how to rescue people, survival earthquake game.

Address: 1-9-7 Chu-o-machi, Meguro ward, Tokyo, Meguro Bosai Center
Telephone: 03-5723-8517
Open: 9AM to 5PM
Close:
Wednesday (if Wednesday is holiday, the next day will be closed),
the 2nd Thursday every month(if Thursday is holiday, the next day will be closed)
the 4th Saturday every month(if Saturday is holiday, 2 days after will be closed)
Every next day of National holiday, 28 Dec to 4 Jan every year

If you are a group of more than 10 people, you should visit
9:00AM – 11:00AM
1:30PM – 3:30PM
2:30PM – 4:30PM

For further information, visit the website (Japanese only)

Posted by Mari in Emergency | No Comments »

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10/20/2004

When the earth shakes, you do not shake but what do you do? – Part2 -

THE 8 ACTIONS TO PROTECT YOURSELF – Part 2, the rest four of eight -

5. GET THE ACCURATE INFORMATION
a. Be aware on the information from radio or TV. Do not be confused by the wrong ones.
b. Pay attention to the information from the city hall, the Fire Defence Agency and the Police.
c. Do not make unnecessary phone calls. Do not call to Fire Defence Office for information. It will disturb the necessary emergency activities.
Images by the Fire Defence Agency

6. COOPERATE WITH PEOPLE AROUND AND TAKE PART IN RELIEF ACTIVITIES
Images by the Fire Defence Agency

7. GIVE YOUR HAND TO RESCUE WORK
If people are under the collapsed building or falling objects, help them escape from that.
by the Fire Defence Agency
Images

8. IF YOU ARE DRIVING A CAR
a. Park your car on the left side of the road, or vacant land.
b. Turn on the radio and get the latest information.
c. If police officer control traffic, follow them. The traffic light are not working after the big earthquake.
d. When you refuge, leave your car key in the keyhole, leave car and refuge to a safe place.
Images by the Fire Defence Agency

Posted by Mari in Emergency | No Comments »

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10/19/2004

When the earth shakes, you do not shake but what do you do? -Part 1-

Have you felt the earthquakes recently? Did something fall down in your room?
What are you going to do first when you feel the earthquake next time?

If you do not have earthquakes in your home country, you would not imagine how it feels like until you really experience it. Also you would not imagine what to do when a big one comes.
Actually a friend of mine from Europe who lives on 12th floor, could not open the door after the earthquake, did not know what to do, in a kind of panic, asked me a help on the phone. This made me write the post about this topic.
Here, it gives you the information what to do, and some tips to minimize the damage in case of emergency.

THE 8 ACTIONS TO PROTECT YOURSELFPart 1, first four of eight -

1. CALM DOWN, AND SHELTER YOURSELF TO A SAFE PLACE
a. Hide yourself under the table. When you feel the earthquake, if you find a cushion near you, put it on your head.
b. Keep the way to escape. When you feel the earthquake, open the door or window nearest to you.
c. Never run away to outside. The biggest and the strongest shake usually continues for about a minute, after that the shake will be weaker. Do not panic.
images by Fire Defence Agency (text Japanese only)

2. DO NOT IN A PANIC, PREVENT THE FIRE
a. Turn off the fire! If your gas fittings are on, turn off them. Then turn off the gas at the main, and pull out the electricity wall socket.
b. If a fire broke out, use a fire extinguisher or water. If the fire is very strong, shout and ask your neighbors help.
images by the Fire Defence Agency (text Japanese only)

3. KEEP AWAY FROM NARROW PATHS, WALLS, RIVERSIDE, AND CLIFFS.
a. Narrow paths are dangerous because the concrete block walls collapse or the roof tiles fall down.
b.Riverside or cliffs are dangerous because the not-firmed ground cause landslide.
images by the Fire Defence Agency (text Japanese only)

4. THE TECHNICS WHEN YOU TAKE REFUGE
a. Walk with minimum belongings. Never use your car which cause traffic jams and you can not move quickly, wear casual cloths and shoes, better to carry on your back.
b. Watch out for Tsunami, the tidal wave, if you are near to the sea. When you feel the earthquake, keep away from the beach as soon as possible, and keep yourself in a high ground.
c. Watch out for the landslide. It is always dangerous near to the mountain and the place with steep slope.
images by the Fire Defence Agency (text Japanese only)

Posted by Mari in Emergency | No Comments »

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