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© Asia Pacific Fire & MDM Publishing Ltd.

Tokyo not-for-profit founder shows foreign residents how to survive disasters

Motoko Kimura, 37, witnessed during the unprecedented quake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in March 2011, where damage in the Tokyo metropolitan area was minor compared with hard-hit Tohoku but fear was sky high. But for non-Japanese residents who don’t speak the language, the experience could be horrifying, not being able to understand news or instructions provided at evacuation centers that may prove critical to survival.

Kimura planned a workshop in English to assist non-Japanese residents, however this was so successful, what was originally intended to be a one-time event spread via word of mouth, prompting Kimura to found WaNavi Japan, a Tokyo-based nonprofit organization aimed at providing practical tips to foreign residents, soon after. The workshops it offers today provide tips on everything from using hospitals and the health care system to food safety, but disaster-preparedness is the most popular program.

For more information, go to www.wanavi.org

Top image for illustration purposes only, image by U.S. Navy photo – This Image was released by the United States Navy with the ID 110312-N-0000X-003.

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Asia Pacific Fire, Editor