For your reference, as approximately the lowest person on the org chart for Ogaki City (it’s in Gifu, which is fairly close to Nagoya, which is 200 miles from Tokyo, which is 200 miles from Miyagi, which was severely affected by the earthquake), my duties in the event of a disaster were:
- Ascertain my personal safety.
- Report to the next person on the phone tree for my office, which we drilled once a year.
- Await mobalization in case response efforts required English or Spanish translation.
Ogaki has approximately 150,000 people. The city’s disaster preparedness plan lists exactly how many come from English-speaking countries. It is less than two dozen. Why have a maintained list of English translators at the ready? Because Japanese does not have a word for excessive preparation.
Excellent perspective on the tsunami disaster in Japan. (via @tkinson)