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Saturday, Sept. 2, 2006


In earthquakes, avoid bending machines

I was recently asked to edit an emergency evacuation manual for Kasaoka City Hall. "Don't worry," they told me, "we've already translated it into English. All you have to do is edit it." Right.

News photo
Stay away from buildings that might collapse, even if they are places of worship. AMY CHAVEZ PHOTO

What surprised me most about the manual was not necessarily the strange English, but the detail they went into regarding safety. I have italicized their translations, after which I have inserted my translation of their translation .


In order to protect the body from a tsunami. Those who are preseent in the seashore need to separate from the seashore immediately. Take refuge in safe place, such as heights, in a hurry. In other words, run like hell.

Also by the tsunami warning, since it is dangerous, neither seabathing nor surf-fishing is performed. Only if you are a complete dolt or if you have a death wish should you go fishing, surfing or swimming when there is a tsunami warning.

Evacuate immediately, especially if you live in a high danger area. Encourage people not to linger and evacuate immediately. Run like hell. Encourage other people to run like hell.

When you're late for a disaster, you should escape in the high building over 3 floors. If you do not have time to escape, go to the highest floor in a nearby building. Take sunscreen, a hat and a good novel in case you end up on a rooftop for days waiting to be rescued.


Line kitchen cupboards with towels so that dishes will not rattle and jump off shelves during an earthquake. Screw the towel. Give up wine glasses and expensive china and replace them with nonbreakable dishes. Better yet, it is far safer not to have any dishes at all. Just eat food straight from the box or can, knowing you are safe from jumping dishes.

Do not take shelter next to heavy furniture that could fall over on you, such as a dresser. If you are outside, avoid taking shelter next to bending machines. Stay away from buildings that might collapse. Inside the house, attach cabinets and dressers to the wall with bolts. Avoid the crunch and munch! Buy only earthquake-proof houses with the furniture already bolted down. Not only is this safe, but you'll never have to rearrange the furniture again, nor sweep under it. And avoid all unsafe buildings built under boulders, even if they are places of worship. Remember, safety first!


When evacuating, go to the disaster shelter on foot. You shouldn't use the car. Use high streets and a walking stick. When evacuating, go to the designated evacuation shelter on foot. Cars can jam up streets that emergency vehicles may need. Remember, run like hell! Besides, you need the exercise. Oh yeah, and don't forget a walking stick.

Some signs of an earth and sand calamity are: there is rumbling of a mountain, water blows off a slope, a pebble falls, a crack is made in the ground. Be aware of signs of a landslide such as a rumbling in the mountain, or if stones start showering down. Water may spurt from the ground and large cracks may appear in the earth. Remember that walking stick? It doubles as a pole vault to clear the large crevasses in the earth.

Evacuation kit

Preparation is key to surviving most disasters. Have an evacuation kit by your door:

1. Portable radio. Don't forget extra batteries. And your iPod.

2. Flashlight. Don't forget batteries. For the iPod, too.

3. Food you can eat without using gas. Powdered milk if you have a baby. Dry food if you have a cat.

4. Underrwear, jacket, gloves, handkerchief, towels. Paper diapers when you have a baby. You can never have enough extra underwear!

5. Medicine: bandages, gauze, sterilization, cold remedies, first aid kit. Don't forget beer and chocolate.

6. Knife, matches, tissues, plastic bags, etc. And anything else we may have forgotten in this list.

Lastly, never evacuate alone. It is always safer to be with a group. Besides, if further disaster prevails, you can always blame it on someone else.

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