Japan Data

Disaster Readiness: Few Japanese Households Discuss Family Emergency Plans in Detail with Children

Society Disaster

Japan is prone to natural disasters like earthquakes and floods, but fewer than 20% of families have discussed preparation measures with children, including meeting places and where emergency provisions are kept.

Experts stress the importance of being prepared for natural disaster. However, a July 2019 online survey by Japanese toymaker Bandai found that awareness of family emergency plans among children was sorely lacking.

Polling 900 families nationwide with children in elementary or junior high school, the survey found that only 5.9% of households had “thoroughly discussed” meeting places or how to contact other family members in the case of a disaster, while 13.0% had “somewhat discussed” the issue. The majority of families, 57.9%, said they had discussed the matter very little, and 23.2% responded that they had not spoken about disaster readiness at all.

Among households who had discussed disaster preparedness, 47.1% with elementary school-aged children timed talks with school emergency drills. However, 58.8% of families with junior high students spoke with children following a major disaster in Japan. The results indicate that it becomes easier to discuss disaster preparedness as children get older and awareness of events beyond their immediate surroundings increases.

However, the survey also showed that children are often unaware of important aspects of family emergency plans for natural disasters. While 46.7% of children understood that their family had emergency food supplies, a mere 22.7% of actually knew where the provisions were stored.

The survey also asked what items people would take with them in case of an emergency. The top answer was “cellphone/smartphone” at 20.7%, followed by “money/wallet” at 13.3% and “emergency provisions” at 5.1%.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

earthquake disaster