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Learning from disaster simulation drills in Japan

Manual and Guideline
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This report was developed to introduce Japanese disaster simulation drills as a model to help other countries plan and implement disaster simulation drill exercises.
The main objectives of this guideline are to:

  1. Provide an overview of the institutional and legislative frameworks for Disaster Management which underpin the organization of disaster simulation drills in Japan;

  2. Introduce disaster simulation drills conducted by various national and community level organizations, such as: the government, schools, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector; and,

  3. Introduce other tools for raising residents’ disaster awareness and preparedness.

Rather than provide a manual for planning a simulation drill, this report aims to introduce a menu of possible activities. The target audience of the report includes: national Disaster Risk Management (DRM) agencies, local governments, utility corporations, and NGO/Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) which plan to organize disaster simulation drills.

This report consists of four parts: Introduction (Chapter 1, 2, 3), Simulation drills (Chapter 4, 5, 6, 7),
Community based activities for disaster awareness and risk communication (Chapter 8, 9), and Conclusion (Chapter 10). The introduction (Chapter 1) starts with an overview of the institutional and legislative frameworks for Disaster Management in Japan (Chapter 2), followed by an overview of disaster simulation drills in Japan, particularly focusing on the Comprehensive Disaster Management Drill Framework, which is an overarching framework for both national and local governments (Chapter 3). The following four chapters present examples of simulation drills organized at the national and regional level, including the National Scope (Chapter 4), and overviews of three prefectures: Hyogo (Chapter 5), Shizuoka (Chapter 6) and Tokyo (Chapter 7). The next part of the report introduces a number of community level activities aimed at increasing residents’ disaster awareness and preparedness. These activities are led by various actors, including: a school, an NGO/CSO, and a learning center (Chapter 8). Risk communication activities in Kobe city are introduced (Chapter 9). Finally, the conclusion (Chapter 10) outlines common challenges and offers tips for the planning and implementation of disaster drills in addition to other disaster awareness/ preparedness activities.