2018 JET Orientation
August 20, 2018
This year's attendance at the 17 August Orientation was over 40 at final count, which is the highest number I can remember seeing. This year's new JETs had narrowly escaped the July torrent, but they seemed to have been well enough informed about it. The heat wave was still continuing on that day, and a boating trip for which they were scheduled was called off in deference to the heat stroke warning.
I was not able to show any footage of disaster prevention activities or preparation for the living space, but I did my best to explain the procedures using the goods we put on display. There were some excellent questions afterwards about where to buy and stock them. All of the materials, from plastic wedges to keep large shelves from tipping and plastic sheeting to cover glass panes in case they shatter, to emergency rations and water, are available at home centres such as Cainz and Nanba.
One of the JETs mentioned looking for emergency instant foodlike substances in the supermarket and being unable to locate any. As far as I know, these are only available at the home centres--but that doesn't make it any easier to find things. (I went shopping for DIY gardening supplies at one of these vast shops yesterday, and still had to spend some time wandering around despite having lived near it for years.)
The recommendation is to keep rations, protective gear, first-aid kits, rope, a wind-up radio and a super-thin space-age thermal blanket inside a padded silver bag specially designed for this purpose, but let me confess that in our house we keep all that stuff in an old-fashioned canvas bag.
One of the big issues, I think, would be storing enough bottled water to last for several days if all purposes except bathing are considered. Very few people in Tottori seem to keep that much in stock. (Guilty.) In the event of a major earthquake or any other disaster that severs power lines and water mains, we will regret being so shortsighted. (I still recall filling up the bathtub on New Year's Eve in the wake of the Y2K hysteria, because we all thought it was quite possible that there would be no water or electricity for weeks before the government straightened things out--and that airplanes flying that night would simply drop out of the sky, because the laws of physics would no longer apply.)
At any rate, we are pleased to say that the much-promoted disaster prevention handbook and emergency wallet cards dissapeared from the table approximately in proportion to the number of attendees--and that most people there seem to have signed up for the new Torimo system, which is bound to change in September.