Vacation Disaster Preparation for People with Disabilities

  • schroth-sensei

    October 13, 2022 at 2:45 pm

    I figured I’d be able to communicate with hotel staff enough to get by, but one trip did give me pause about disaster prep, for a bit anyway. In my trip (with my brother) in September 2008 to Japan we had a typhoon coming inland, I didn’t pay attention to it prior to my trip but mid trip we saw it mentioned on the local news that it was coming almost directly over us in Tokyo. The couple days before landfall were rainy, so we visited inside locations, but the night before I watched the news and figured the typhoon would sit over us (so stuck inside?), but at least we were in a hotel with plenty of restaurants (so we wouldn’t starve) and locations without windows (a bowling alley probably wouldn’t be too bad to wait out a storm if need be). We also lived in Florida for many years, so a typhoon like this (a Catagory-1 I believe) wasn’t super bad, nevertheless I had a general plan. Luckily though, while it slowly moved to us at first, the storm actually completely blew over us that night and left us with beautiful weather for the remainder of our trip!

    As for Earthquakes, especially if you’re in a tall building, I’m not entirely sure what I would of done besides stay away from breakable windows/stuff and just wait it out. I’d be curious to know if you have a plan/advice?

  • Josh Grisdale

    October 14, 2022 at 3:34 pm

    After living in Japan so long, I’m fairly numbed to them. Which is a bad thing!

    Tokyo has a preparedness guidebook, but it mostly focused on residents:

    Since you are leaving yourself at the mercy of the hotel in terms of preparing rooms and supplies, the most you can do would be:

    • Download local maps in Google Maps so you can still get information about your surroundings
    • If you are traveling as a group, make a plan about how/where to regroup if you split up during the day
    • For Japan specifically, elementary and middle schools tend to be evacuation centers and should be in your map app
    • Carry some cash
    • Learn the word for “help” in the local language
    • Learn the emergency numbers in the country

    If you have other suggestions, please leave a reply!

    • schroth-sensei

      October 15, 2022 at 1:46 am

      Oh good stuff! Especially the evacuation sites, good to know!

  • Trouble with Me Podcast

    October 23, 2022 at 1:09 am

    When I travel, I do check potential weather hazards and try to avoid times of the year where there may be hurricanes, typhoons, heavy snow, heavy rain and the likes, as I know that if I’m caught in them, I’d have a difficult time moving around, to say the least.

    As for earthquakes, there’s not much you can do, aside from what Josh said. When I was in Japan, I had bottled water and non-perishable food for 2-3 days on a closet, plus knew the evacuation shelters in my area (got them from the local city ward and, at the time, it was about the only thing that I understood from the whole lot of information, as they were on a map), mostly school playgrounds and parks. We had a grade 6- earthquake, on the Japanese scale, and I waited it out inside my apartment (which was quite new) and stayed there for a few hours as elevators stopped working.

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