Fewer than 40 percent of Tokyoites prepared for big quake

JIJI

Fewer than 40 percent of Tokyo’s residents and commuters have taken specific measures to prepare for the possibility of a major earthquake striking the capital, despite the nation’s latest wave of disaster preparedness campaigns, a Metropolitan Police Department survey said.

The survey, released Friday, was conducted by a research group including professors and psychology experts. It drew valid responses from 2,283 people.

Some 60 percent of the respondents said they were aware of reports that a strong earthquake feared to hit Tokyo “within the next 30 years” might prevent them from communicating with family members.

About 66 percent said they need to decide how to get in touch with their families after such a quake and only 36 percent said they had done so.

More than 50 percent of the respondents said they need to take steps to prevent furniture from falling over and only 38 percent had done so.

The survey also found that some 90 percent think it necessary to stockpile water and food and that more than 70 percent had secured such items. The most common quantity cited was enough to last for two or three days.

But fewer than 20 percent of the respondents with emergency food and water on hand had checked the products’ expiry dates. If those with no or out-of-date quake supplies are included, some 40 percent of the respondents have problematic stockpiles, the survey said.

Asked about how to act when the earthquake strikes, more minors and students mentioned administering first-aid to the injured or guiding people to evacuation spots than other age brackets.

Noting that younger people showed unprecedented changes in their responses this survey, the research group said it is high time to boost activities to educate them about the importance of being fully prepared for disasters.