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Lessons Learned from the Japan Earthquake: Role of Social Workers in Disaster Preparation. Shiraishi Masanori, Ph.D. Iwate Prefecture . Damaged area by tsunami . Iwate Prefecture . Content of Presentation . Purpose of Study Method Case Study Conclusion. Purpose of Study .

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lessons learned from the japan earthquake role of social workers in disaster preparation

Lessons Learned from the Japan Earthquake: Role of Social Workers in Disaster Preparation

Shiraishi Masanori, Ph.D.

content of presentation
Content of Presentation
  • Purpose of Study
  • Method
  • Case Study
  • Conclusion
purpose of study
Purpose of Study
  • A Magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Japan on March 11, 2011 at 14:46:18 (Japan Standard Time). Registering as the most powerful earthquake to hit Japan on record and as known as once in thousand years catastrophe. The earthquake churned up a devastating tsunami that swept over cities and farmland along the northern part of Japan. Walls of water whisked away houses and cars as terrified residents fled the coast. The earthquake has killed at least 15,833 people and 3,671 persons are still missing. This tragic event left a lot of lessons to be learned for social workers around the world. The purpose of this presentation is to describe what happened and what was needed at the time from case study of earthquake/tsunami victim. This presentation also discusses the role of social workers in disaster preparation.
purpose of study1
Purpose of Study
  • In this presentation, I will followthe case of one tsunami survivor.
  • And from his experience, I discusses the role of social workers in disaster preparation.
research method
Research Method
  • Interview was conducted to earthquake/tsunami survivor to describe what happened at the time. Interviews were also conducted to social workers, NGO/NPOs, police officer, student volunteers, and city government officials working for disaster recovery to analysis in more multifaceted perspectives. These interviews point out confusion and problems right after the earthquake and tsunami.
outline of the japan earthquake tsunami1
Outline of The Japan Earthquake & Tsunami
  • A Magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Japan on March 11, 2011 at 14:46.
  • 15,863 death
  • 2,949 missing person
  • Many have died because of Tsunami and not by the earthquake itself
slide18

A Magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Japan on March 11, 2011

  • At the time , himself, several customers and store manager were in the store.
  • Earthquake was extremely hard and long. It continue for almost five minutes.
  • After the earthquake, products on the shelf fells and scattered on the floor but lucky everybody inside the shop was safe
slide19

After sending out customers outside, he and store manager began to clean up the floor.

  • Suddenly the siren calls and city announcement says “Tsunami warning was issued, please evacuate to high ground as soon as possible”
slide20

After the siren and announcement, they close the shop and move to the high ground even though they didn’t expect that tsunami will really come

  • First, they thought to use the car to move but road was very jam so they walk to the high ground
slide22

After they reached to the high ground,

  • when he look back the ocean.
  • he was amazed because Seabed can be seen because of the ebb
  • And right next moment, his store, houses, building, city, everything was swallowed up by tsunami.
slide23

After the tsunami, they talked and decided to move to the middle school where set to be assembly point/refuge/shelter in the case of emergency.

  • Of course they had option going back to store and check the damage but they didn’t do that.
slide24

Some of the people who were in the same place go back to the city to see their houses.

  • But he and store manager decide to move to middle school.
  • Because aftershock was still very frequently occurs.
slide26

On the way to the middle school, again he heard the sound and he look back and he saw the 2nd wave coming and was swallowed up the city once again including the high ground where they were just there on a moment ago.

  • And not only that, tsunami is coming against them
slide27

So they run and run. And this was the moment that he convinced he can not go back to daily life.

  • On the way to middle school, he though middle school is in chaos but it was not
  • After they reached the middle school, he was surprised because most of the people are under in order and discipline.
slide28

Of course middle school was quite busy because many people came and some of them got quite injured

  • Some of people got panic
  • Some of them are shocked
slide29

But there was no quarrel and most of the people are under in order and discipline.

  • and some of them are doing their tasks e.g. Distributing Blanket, food, guide new people who came, etc
  • It is because of neighborhood association was working very effectively in the shelter
a neighborhood residents association j ichikai or chounaikai
A neighborhood/residents’ association (Jichikai or Chounaikai)
  • In Japan, we have A neighborhood association in each school district
  • Most of the community residents are taking part of this neighborhood association especially in the countryside.

Not only the neighborhood association, In the same district we have some affiliate groups of neighborhood association like children, youth, woman, elderly ,Volunteer fire department, PTA etc

slide31

In the middle school (set to be shelter), all these groups were doing their tasks under the instruction of chair of neighborhood association.

  • This is set to be in the case of emergency
slide32

He and store manager guided to middle school gym.

  • Middle schools gym was very dirty and smelly and still it was winter season so it was very cold
  • stove was brought but didn’t work well it was to small to warm whole floor
  • Blanket was distributed to the elderly and children but number was not enough
  • Its getting colder and colder especially after the sunset.
slide33

even though it was night time, some how the out side was very bright

  • Fire had occur in the city
  • After the reviewing the situation by the board of neighborhood association
  • They decided to close the middle school and move to high school where located more suburb area even though it was already mid night
  • So everybody asked to move to high school
slide35

After the decision, every body in middle school walk to the high school.

  • On the way, the road was steep and dark and very cold and smelly so it was very tough walk
  • youth support elderly and children.
  • It was very long and tough walk but finally they reached to the high school
slide36

High school’s gym was also very clouded, smelly and dirty

  • He sit in a small place and spent the night shivering.
  • Next morning, people cook the rice and made onigiri, the breakfast
slide38

rice ball, is a Japanese food made from white rice formed into triangular or oval shapes and often wrapped in nori (seaweed)

slide39

In high school also the people was in order.

  • Middle school and high school students worked very well under the direction of their teachers.
  • Teachers were under the direction of neighborhood association
slide40

At this time there are many information and rumors about what has happened and the situation of their cities and towns.

  • Every body was really anxiety because they didn’t now what was really happened and what is going to be happen next.
  • First day it was OK because they were busy.
  • But second day, they began to worry about their future.
slide41

In high school there was recruitment of volunteers by the neighborhood association.

  • And he joined the volunteer
  • The volunteer’s task in shelter was registration all the people in the high school , and make roster.
slide42

Registration was to check the people who newly come and correspondence to the people’s complain like hunger or illness.

  • and 2nd day is over
slide43

So this is what has happened in first two days.

  • From his case we can learn these things.
good point
Good point
  • Because of the neighborhood association, people were in order and no big confession.
  • the board of neighborhood association control each affiliate groups in the community and work effectively in shelter.
things needed in shelter
Things needed in shelter
  • Water and food
  • Information
  • Cell phone can not be used
  • Radio is insufficient
  • People are worried and fear because they didn’t now what is happened and what is going to be happen next.
  • So if we had something like Seattleite TV or big screen view that we can watch, people feel more relief.
  • To work on TV or other equipments, we need emergency power
social worker should prepare following things in the case of emergency
social worker should prepare following things in the case of emergency
  • Form the neighborhood association and chose community leader
  • Organize affiliate community groups
  • Secure shelter
  • Prepare food, water, emergency power and something like satellite TV in shelter
  • Internet access (if possible)
  • If we can prepare all these in advance, situation will be much better than doing nothing
slide48

And above all, disaster will badly affect person’s physical and mental condition.

  • To cope with disaster, first of all, social worker must be tough and strong in both physically and mentally.
slide49

Can you wake up for three straight days? Can you run/walk long distance without any food or water?

  • In the case of disaster, you are also victims. But even though you are victim, you have to do your work as social worker.
slide50

So all the social workers are you tough enough to cope all these?

  • if you are not please go to gym or start jogging and get in shape.
  • If you want to prepare for your mental toughness, I recommend you to start Zen
slide52

最後に、ソーシャルワーカーは体を鍛えておいてください。ジョギングなどを普段からしておいた方がよいでしょう。最後に、ソーシャルワーカーは体を鍛えておいてください。ジョギングなどを普段からしておいた方がよいでしょう。

  • いざというときに、動けない、歩けないではお話になりません。
slide53

Right after Tsunami, He close his shop with Shop Manager

  • They move to a high ground and they watch Tsunami destroys the city and their shop.
slide55

They moved to middle school because this middle school was set as assembly point or evacuation area in case of emergency

slide56

After they moved to middle school, he was surprised.

  • Because everything was in order under a residents‘ association
  • Of corseit was quite busy because many people came and some of them got quite enjured
slide57

Some of people got panic

  • Some of them are shocked
  • But there was no quarral and many of people are doing their task eg. Blanket, food,
slide58

1) Purpose of Study

  • A Magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Japan on March 11, 2011 at 14:46:18 (Japan Standard Time). Registering as the most powerful earthquake to hit Japan on record and as known as once in thousand years catastrophe. The earthquake churned up a devastating tsunami that swept over cities and farmland along the northern part of Japan. Walls of water whisked away houses and cars as terrified residents fled the coast. The earthquake has killed at least 15,833 people and 3,671 persons are still missing. This tragic event left a lot of lessons to be learned for social workers around the world. The purpose of this presentation is to describe what happened and what was needed at the time from case study of earthquake/tsunami victim. This presentation also discusses the role of social workers in disaster preparation.
slide59

2) Method

  • Interview was conducted to earthquake/tsunami victim to describe what happened at the time. Interviews were also conducted to social workers, NGO/NPOs, police officer, student volunteers, and city government officials working for disaster recovery to analysis in more multifaceted perspectives. These interviews point out confusion and problems right after the earthquake and tsunami.
slide60

3) Conclusion

  • From the case study, following results were obtained for the role of social workers in disaster preparation.
  • a. Ensuring evacuation center and known to all local citizens.
  • b. Secure communications (except for telephone and internet) in evacuation center.
  • c. Prepare systematic structure in evacuation center ex. nurture community leader to be head in evacuation center.
  • d. Disaster will badly affect person’s physical and mental condition. To cope with disaster, first of all, social worker needs to be tough and strong in both physically and mentally. All the social workers, please get in shape.
slide61

自治会

  • a residents‘ association