On January 1, the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture experienced a magnitude seven earthquake that destroyed homes and caused over 50,000 people to be evacuated. Beyond the evident devastation and its aftermath, this earthquake is an unfortunate yet compelling reminder to prepare a survival kit for emergencies in Japan.
About 1,500 earthquakes occur annually in the country. Many go unnoticed, but significant shakes are inevitable. Even small earthquakes are terrifying and doubly nerve-wracking when accompanied by the risk of a tsunami. Moreover, landslides, floods and typhoons regularly strike communities throughout Japan. Such events can happen quickly and leave little time for people to react.
Ultimately, knowing what to do in an earthquake (even a small one) can make a huge difference. Having a basic emergency kit or 防災グッズ (bosai guzzu) is recommended for individuals and families living in Japan. They provide the minimum necessary tools and supplies to keep you and your household safe during an emergency in Japan.
The Government Recommended Kit
The Japanese government wholeheartedly encourages citizens to prepare emergency survival kits. The official line is that just one item, a simple flashlight or bottle of water, can be life or death in an emergency. Moreover, Japan’s geography is varied. As such, local governments suggest different kinds of survival kits. For residents in Tokyo, these are the basic recommended items for your survival pack:
- Portable radio
- Protective hood
- Work gloves
- Water (remember to replace every few months)
- Food (instant noodles, canned food, protein bars, etc.)
- Can opener
- Extra Clothing
- Baby bottle
- First-aid kit
- Your bankbook
- Your hanko (personal seal)
Also, consider things like prescription medicine. The government also suggests preparing smaller individual survival kits if you have children. This not only means you can pack more items but also provides an opportunity to discuss with your kids the importance of being prepared in the event of a disaster and what to do should one occur.
Buying a Survival Kit in Japan
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