September 19, 2000: Emergency bag checking

"Disaster comes when people forget it" is an old saying. Recently, natural disasters take place so frequently here in Japan. The globe may issue stern warnings to human being.

On September 1, 1923, at 11:58 a.m, a huge earthquake later called Kantou Great Earthquake hit Tokyo Metropolitan claiming more than 148,200 lives. So, September 1 is enacted as the disaster drill day.

The main themeof this month's housekeeping is to check the emergency supply bag. Are you ready to prepare for an emergency bag?

I haven't been so sensitive to emergency, just thinking about vaguely what item should be taken first. But a homepage of Kobe Group of Friends taught me the importance of an emergency bag through their experience of Hanshin Great Earthquake (1995.1.17.)

The weight of the bag is 4.5 Kg serving for two people.

Oita is a nice place almost without any natural disaster. This made me forget the whereabouts of the emergency bag. It has been treated as an obstacle and finally put deep in the storehouse.

I thought it over and checked the bag. I found water turned wrong and emergency foods were far beyond the expiration date. I changed them to new ones as quickly as possible.
This time, I sewed two "Safe hood" from towels by referring to a pamphlet I got at the Earthquake Exhibition sponsored by Kobe Group of Friends. The back of the hood is opened and closed by a fastener. The front of the hood is tied by a couple of string.

When the hood is opened, it will turn into a wrapper, or a triangular bandage which are very useful just in case.

The contents of the emergency bag should be decided according to individual home condition. The portable limit weight of the bag is no more than 3.5 Kg for female. For senior citizen, the spare of glass or artificial tooth, a consultation tickets, and medicine will be necessary items. For an infant rearing home, diapers, baby foods, and mother-and-baby notebooks will be essential goods.

I spread out the contents of my emergency bag: from left, a flashlight, water and ship biscuit, a health-insurance certificate, a copy of stamp-certificate, writing materials, calling cards, work gloves, toilet things, Band-Aids, sewing set, candle, match box, and masks. In the rear are hard-soled shoes; on the rucksack are socks, under wares for two, vinyl bags, and newspaper sheets. Other options will be a portable-radio, wrapping sheet, and a rope.

In September meeting for housework study, we checked the contents of the emergency bags each other. We hope there will be no disaster and always to be ready for emergency.