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2016/03/11Forward to 11th March 2016


“What you must know for an emergency ~ Disaster prevention ♥ Is your community reliable?”
This is a title of a workshop held in a local community where I live and its flyer was delivered to all households in the area. The workshop was aimed at learning the measures of the community for natural disaster and considering what people can do today.

The event was also recruiting participants of “Disaster prevention workshop for Children”, which provides an opportunity for thinking about what if big quake occurs when a child is staying at home alone. Children and parents/guardians could join the session together.

I remember my terrible experience when I was at the age of six. It was a hot sunny day during summer holidays and I was the only one at home. It suddenly got dark and cold. A chorus of cicadas stopped and it started thundering and raining. And a lightning flush with deafening thunder rumbles! What a child of that age could do was rushing into the neighbour’s house nearly crying. Her decision made in fear was to ‘go where people are.’ That was the best for a 6-year-old child.

‘Disaster Prevention’ is an attitude how much we can avoid damage. In addition to that, how much we can minimize estimating losses and damages, named ‘Disaster Mitigation’ has been introduced and gradually permeating in the society. When we think over natural disasters and accidents which would happen in various areas no matter how the size is, we should recognize anybody could be a victim in anywhere, anytime. ‘Disaster Mitigation’ tell us that recognizing disaster as our own possible matter to be the first stages for prevention. We should be prepared.

It has been five years since the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred. It always takes a long time for the recovery once we affected disasters. Although we are in the middle of the reconstruction process, we need to be prepared for disaster some day in the future. Through the experiences gotten in ages, Japanese people have been challenged to develop spiritual strength to find a way to gain foothold even from desperations. Besides skills and supplies for preparation what we should care at times would be a spirit of mutual aid to support and to help each other. Keeping those in mind, we mark the 11th of March in 2016.

 
Mariko Asano, National Commissioner, Girl Scouts of Japan

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