5 years ago a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the East coast of Japan, sending a 133-foot wave of water onto the mainland. Over 45,000 buildings were destroyed, and the tsunami initiated the Fukushima nuclear disaster. More than 15,000 people were killed. Millions were instantly left without water, food, and heat.
Since then, Japan has become something of a leader in emergency preparedness. They have taken measures to protect their people from such massive devastation should this type of event happen again. And, by preparing for the worst, they’re prepared for lesser disasters as well.
But what has become of Japan since then? And more importantly, what of its people that were affected?
Between the Japan earthquake, tsunami, and the nuclear disaster, hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated from their homes. Of those, 180,000 have yet to return home. The BBC reports that 174,000 people are still living in temporary housing as evacuees.
Starting with the earthquake, each disaster activated something more. The earthquake brought about the tsunami, and the tsunami brought about the nuclear disaster at Fukushima. Such is the way of disasters. When one thing happens, more often than not other emergencies crop up (although perhaps not in this extreme).
Most of us don’t have to worry about a massive tsunami or a nuclear power plant going full meltdown, but there are devastating disasters that can reach any one of us.
For example, just within the last 24 hours, thousands have been forced to evacuate their homes due to historic flooding in the Southern United States. Something tells me they didn’t wake up last week thinking, “I wonder if I’ll be forced to leave my home in the next couple of days…”.
These things happen, and we need to be prepared when they do.
Take a look at what happened in Japan. Hundreds of thousands were displaced. Many still are. Those who are still living as evacuees have at least had some time to regroup and figure things out, even just for a bit. But what happens to people an hour after the tsunami warning?
By being properly prepared, you will have what they need to get by following such a disaster. Finding a hotel room away from the devastation might be difficult, what with everyone else scrambling to get away from the flood zone. If you have a tent, it will make for a nice evacuation shelter – at least until you can find something a little more permanent. Many people in Nepal lived in tents following the devastating earthquake in 2015.
A grab-and-go emergency kit would also be beneficial in these scenarios, especially if you only had a short amount of time to get your gear and go (such as before a tsunami).
While we can’t imagine having to deal with such massive disasters, having emergency prep can make a huge amount of difference. In cases like these, emergency shelter is pretty crucial. A bug-out bag is likewise important, allowing you to grab the necessities (food, water, first aid, etc.) in a moment’s notice.
The tragedy that struck Japan five years ago is heartbreaking, but we can still look back and learn from these events. Japan learned how to better prepare their people. We can learn to better prepare ourselves.