«by: MA. ALETHA A. NOGRA Civil Def fense Offic III cer Office of Civil D e Defense-Departmen of Natio Defen nt onal nse R Republic o the Philippines ...»
There is guide to land use wherein, in order to prevent natural disasters, forestry conservation and erosion control projects are implemented as well as measures against floods and great earthquakes. The Kobe City is also implementing networks of water and green spaces in order to improve disaster response, thus the functions of school grounds and parks as temporary evacuation areas are strengthened and if possible, these areas are improved and strengthened. Improved lifeline networks through utility conduits and water supply and sewerage means resilience in times of disasters and emergencies so these areas are improved and maintained at its best service condition.
Information dissemination and awareness raising are most important strategies of human resource development in Japan so there is a continuous and vibrant provision of information and implementation of projects for human resource development especially for passing on the lessons learned of the past major disasters in Japan to the younger generation. This is implemented through the institutionalization of the various disaster museums in Kobe City. The challenge indicators serve as a guide for Kobe City Disaster Management Center in evaluating and understanding their progress in
achieving a safe city as follows:
Number of established BOKOMI organizations Number of drills carried out by BOKOMI organizations Proportion of citizens who participate in community activities for safety, such as disaster or crime prevention activities Proportion of seismic retrofitting of elementary and junior high school buildings Measures for the seismic retrofitting of bridges Number of emergency water storage systems Progress rate for the implementation of measures against urban floods like the construction of rainwater arteries; and Progress rate for the implementation of measures against storm surges.
For a better understanding of how Kobe City has been developing its community for resilience, the five pillars on crisis management is expound on the succeeding paragraphs in this portion.
First is the pillar on crisis management and disaster strategies from a long-term viewpoint starting from the improvement of community disaster management plan and the improvement of measures against Tonankai and Nankai earthquakes. In the Kobe City Disaster Management Plan, responses from disaster prevention-related departments are integrated especially in responding to earthquake and the disaster prevention plan in the case of Southeastern Sea and Southern Sea Earthquake where plans to mobilize necessary personnel are considered as well as the areas requiring tsunami evacuation, and the tsunami evacuation center itself. Since the promotion of areas for disaster prevention are based on the Special Measures Law against Tonankai and Nankai earthquakes. Plans for wind and water disasters are also enhanced as well as measures against disasters caused by the release of radioactive substances, accidents at sea, railway accidents, airplane accidents and others. One of the major consideration also is the formulation of Disaster Prevention Support Manual which is easy to use where a list of disasters by type in chronological order is included. In the plan to promote city safety, disaster prevention projects are done based on a mid-to-long forecast. Disaster prevention database is also in placed to serve as reference documents. The Kobe City Comprehensive Master plan towards developing a safe city is measured and evaluated for revision every five years to monitor its compatibility with the rapid demands of time given the complexity of disasters. On the second pillar which is enhancing communities’ disaster/crime prevention ability, Kobe City is supportive of the activities of BOKOMI organizations through the initiatives of Kobe City Fire Department. Since the greatest lessons learned from the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake of 1995 are “saving one’s own life or the self-help”; “band together or mutual help”; and “enhance the power of community” for resilience. Kobe City highlights the powerful activities of the BOKOMI organizations such as the importance of mutual help displayed in the initial stage of disaster response activities.
In normal times, BOKOMI organizations conduct various activities such as earthquake evacuation drills, fire drills and exercises to develop and strengthen ties in the community and at the same time, enhancing their disaster prevention ability. The 1995 Great Earthquake experience showed that 164,000 persons were confined under collapsed structures; 129,000 people escaped on their own or by oneself;
35,000 were rescued but out of these, only 7,900 persons or 22.5% were rescued by firefighters while 27,100 persons or 77.5% were rescued by the citizens themselves. If every individual is empowered by the knowledge on disaster prevention, safety and disaster Photo taken from the presentation on Kobe City management, more lives will be saved Crisis Management Center PDF File.
in times of disasters or emergencies.
Creating community safety maps and conduct of emergency drills or anti-crime activities are also some of the important activities of the BOKOMI organizations to empower its citizens. In the Uozaki District, a best practice on community rescue team specifically for Persons Needing Special Assistance during Disasters are conducted regularly.
Each neighborhood resident’s association made a list of PSND and evacuation supporters such as community rescue team who wanted to appear on the list. Thus, evacuation ability and awareness is enhanced through the conduct of this annual drill while confirmation of the safety of PSND, rescue them, guiding or transporting to the evacuation sites, explaining about the sites, management of the sites, offering meals and other support activities in the evacuation areas. These activities contribute to the deeper familiarization of the environment and the community together. Disaster awareness on protecting communities by the communities is being passed on to the young generation through the cooperation and participation of elementary and junior high schools in the community. There is a system of the community rescue team which is recommended to the whole city as a guide. There is also the Hyogo prefectural mutual aid system for housing reconstruction. This is a system for supporting housing reconstruction by mutual help to cover the limitations of self-help, such as savings and insurance, and official support (official help). This aid is limited to buildings for residence and usable only for housing reconstructio n due to damage by any type of natural disaster. In order to avail of this reconstructio n aid, an official certificate for the partial or complete damages incurred is required. The third pillar is the enhancement of the ability of the community for crisis management and disaster response. In improving systems for communicating information to citizens and guiding them for evacuation, amplifier stations (including antennas, radios, speakers) are set up at 63 places in the coastal areas and at wide area evacuation sites to broadcast disaster information and earthquake early warnings to citizens all at once. Individual receivers are distributed to community representatives and for foreign residents, the receivers are distributed to the representatives of foreign residents in communities in order to communicate the same information. Various hazard maps especially on the hazards to a particular locality is distributed to the citizens. We had the experience of learning from the hazard maps in our area when we visited Nada Ward.
Crisis management of Kobe City was formulated through cooperation and collaboration with the academia, industry and the government banking on the lessons learned from the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. What is essential for preventing catastrophic disasters and other risks is the systematic and continuous crisis management to be carried out for crisis response involving cross-sectional cooperation among communities and companies regardless of their positions and business categories and daily and proactive preparation. A Kobe Safety Network Association was also created with 81 member organizations such as companies, governments and universities with hope of cooperation together with communities and citizens. There are three manuals for national protection plan for Kobe City namely, Measures Against Bomb Explosion Terrorism; Measures Against Chemical Terrorism; and Measures Against Biological Terrorism where information and system for cooperation as well as prevention of secondary damage, securing citizen’s safety and rescue are included.
Fire and Disaster Management Agency and the Meteorological Agency play a very critical role in providing official information and disseminating early warning to the communities. J-Alert, flood control information system and prefectural phoenix information system are established to attain effective relaying of critical information to the general public for their appropriate and prompt response. Again, cooperation with the central and local governments, infrastructure companies, construction businesses and other stakeholders is necessary to achieve early warning and effective response.
Another important role which the community plays is in the Kobe model of measure against new influenza where community cooperation system for early detection is established so as to prevent widespread occurrence of such influenza to the communities. The fourth pillar is on establishing disaster-resistant urban infrastructure through the promotion of seismic retrofitting of housing, elementary and junior high school buildings and improvement of lifelines to resist disasters. Lessons learned from the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake states that 80% of the deaths were due to the collapse of housing or the toppling over of furniture 5-15 minutes after the earthquake occurred. Since January 2006, Kobe City has carried out free quake resistance testing and provided subsidies for the seismic retrofitting of and fixing furniture in housing whose construction started in and before May 1981. If the housing is a house, the upper subsidy is ¥1.3 million. Prefectural reconstruction subsidies can be used simultaneously and the prefectural reconstruction subsidies are provided through Fiscal Year 2011. Seismic retrofitting of elementary and junior high school buildings as mentioned earlier is now 100% completed since these schools serve as community disaster bases. One very outstanding effort done in Japan for the resilience of communities to disasters is the improvement of lifelines of the communities to resist disasters. In their quest to promote the seismic retrofitting of the bridges of emergency transportation road network, approximately 190 bridges selected as priority bridges to increase seismic resistance. Based on their records, the retrofitting of 24 bridges that had been constructed based on particularly low seismic standards were already completed at the end of FY 2009. The number of bridges that will be 50 years old is projected to triple in number, at about 590, in ten years so a mass rebuilding period has begun. Bridge repair management starting from the process of inspection, planning, and repair was introduced in FY 2008 for the effective and efficient management and repair especially after a disaster impact. There are quake-resistant fire tank of 100 tons installed and for Fiscal Year 2009 around 253 tanks were already installed and as of July 2011 total tanks installed reached to 259. It was noted that before the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, only 38 tanks were installed. The emergency tank system is used so that when earthquake occurs, for example, the Okuhirano Control Center automatically issues an order to close the emergency shutoff valve installed in its distribution reservoir to secure the minimum amount of drinking water and for Japan, it is 3 liters/day/person X 7 days. Then the tank wagons distribute stored water to local residents from the Center, which serves as a water supply station. The emergency shutoff valves are installed in either one of the two distribution reservoirs in a set.
Access to water from the other reservoir continues for use in firefighting. High capacity tanks will be installed in areas without distribution reservoirs, such as reclaimed grounds, to serve as water supply stations. Establishment of high capacity waterline is continuous such as the establishment of a new water route in addition to Mt. Rokko. Construction of toilets is strategic also for disaster management and stocks of 800 temporary toilet units are constructed and 300 units at 60 places are connected to public sewerage. In establishing a networked sewage plants, disaster-proof sewage system is being used.
The last or fifth pillar is on passing on and communicating lessons learned from disasters. This is achieved by first improving disaster learning at elementary and junior high schools. The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake brought many lessons learned such as the significance of people’s lives, helping each other, caring for others, and family ties. All of these important lessons need to be passed on to young generation so Kobe City has developed and published supplementary reading materials entitled, “Shiawase Hakobo” (Messenger of Happiness) for elementary and junior high school students. With consideration on the importance of psychological care and characteristic of each school and area, disaster preparedness trainings are conducted, emphasizing on earthquake risk reduction in particular at all elementary and junior high schools. The training also covers handing students over to their parents in the evacuation scenario. Kobe City also provides paramedic training for junior high school students and as of 2009, 5,223 students were certified as city life-saving technicians from 43 schools. The project for supporting disaster education at schools targeting children since 2007 are done through cooperation among schools, fire stations and communities.
B. Disaster-Safe Welfare Community (“BOKOMI”)