Disaster goods and food that I keep at home.

(Submitted on December 12, 2012)

Following the disaster prevention drill which took place in our community on December 1, I decided to check my disaster stocks at home. Especially after the 3/11 earthquake and tsunami catastrophe in the northeastern parts of Japan, we have been constantly advised by various public offices that each household is supposed to stock disaster goods and foods for at least three days.

 

So, I took out those stocks, placed them on the floor for checking and took photos of them on December 10. But before going into details, let me explain what happened at my place (about 400 kilometers south west of the epicenter) on March 11, 2011.

 

On that Friday afternoon, my wife and I were at home; she was watching TV and I was working on the computer. Suddenly, an alarm sound from the cell phone

squeaked; a few seconds later the severe earthquake came. So, what is known as an “earthquake early warning system” did function properly. What actions did we take? My wife went under the table; I was at a loss where to protect myself.

 

When the earthquake subsided, we checked around. Our house seemed OK, with the exception of broken glass from a fallen photo stand. Electricity was cut off. Actually, the blackout lasted until around 10 pm. So, we relied entirely on a battery-powered radio for what had happened and the gush of news thereafter. With the power outage, the fixed phone line also went out. My wife turned to her cell phone and kept text-messaging with our two sons and daughter, who live in different places; but soon the cell phone battery failed.

 

From the next day on, people flocked to the nearest shops and supermarkets for disaster goods and foods, notably dry battery cells, bottles of water, and toilet paper. Coming back to our stock of disaster things, let me show you some photos.

 

 

 

 

First, this red backpack, before opening

From top to bottom,

*underware and socks (for myself)

* biscuits (“Best before July, 2012” Woops!

Will be replaced.)

*a bottle of water (“Best before February,

2013” So, it has to be replaced soon.)

*a raincoat

*a radio and torch combined with dry batteries

*candles with a box of matches

*plastic plates, paper plates

* chopsticks, plastic forks, spoons,

*money (notes and coins)

*gloves

*collapsible umbrellas

*masks

Second, a pink backpack contains (from top to bottom):

*two other backpacks 

*clothes, underware for my wife

*a camera with dry batteries

*an electronic dictionary (also a calculator)

*ball-point pens

*cosmetics, tooth brushes, a comb

*bottles of water (will be replaced for the same reason)

*biscuits (“will be replaced for the same reason)

*playing cards

 

 

From top to bottom,

*towels

*garbage bags

*medicine

*toilet bags

*plastic sheets

 

 

 

A portable gas cooker with bottles of butane liquid gas, a must for every Japanese household (for cooking on the table)

From top to bottom,

*bottles of water (It is said that 3 liters of water is needed for a person per day, so altogether 18 liters are required for two of us. To this, we have more than 20 liters in all. Bottles of water on the right side are valid until July, 2016. On the left side, they are valid until April, 2013)                                                   *tinned foods (I forgot to take out the boxes of tinned fish for the photo.)

 

 

 

Lastly, we make a rule to keep bathtub water for emergency use. Last person to use the bathtub is reminded not to drain the water.

Do we have enough stocks? We are not sure. What’s more imperative is that our house will remain intact and that we are safe. Are we really prepared for another catastrophe, this time much closer to our place?    

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