Japan Meteorology

Japan and their Earthquakes – a daily reality

Today I’d like to talk about Earthquakes in Japan.  Every day I left the house, I always had a heavy pack on.  It consisted of cutting tools, fire-starting tools, First Aid Kit, several flashlights, power banks, spare batteries and some form of snacks, along with other things that don’t come to mind at the moment.  This was my GHB (Get Home Bag) which I toted around everywhere I went.  The fact is, earthquakes are a reality in Japan and should not be ignored.  Along side earthquakes is the strong possibility of tsunamis as well.  I’ve had conversations with friends about this topic and I’ve had input ranging from, “That’s too much stuff” to, “That’s a smart idea.”  At any rate, I’ve watched several videos from the March 11, 2011 earthquake/tsunami and this acts as a reminder for me to always keep my GHB with me at all times.  Here’s an example of some of the things people experienced during that day.  I constantly analyze videos of this topic and take mental notes of what I would need if I was in that situation.

What is cool though is the early warning system they have in place which is connected to every cellphone in the country.  I was at Enoshima Island one time and started to hear noise coming from several cellphones from a group of teenagers nearby.  Initially I assumed they were playing an online role-playing game with each other until my cellphone joined the party.  The message was in kanji, which I have no skillset for, but I recognized the warning sound from previous earthquakes.  Sure enough, 1 minute later, the Island began to shake and we were at the top of the highest point of the island and really felt it.  Here’s a sample of the warning you get on a Japanese cellphone:

With that said, I will never let the naysayers discourage me from being prepared.  Heavy, large pack on my back as I travel Japan, totally worth it.  If I’m ever there during a huge earthquake, I plan on giving myself and my family the best chance of survival.

Earthquakes, like the one in Sendai, are very rare.  We might experience 2-3 tremors a week, but nothing alarming.  But if that big one ever hits, I’ll definitely be prepared for it.