The All-Hazards Emergency Management Model
The 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan is the disaster I selected to discuss this week. One minute before the disastrous earthquakes strikes, Japan receives a warning that prevents many deaths by automatically stopping speed trains (Oskin, 2015). The earthquake triggers a tsunami that causes the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and continues to leak 300 tons of radioactive chemicals into the Pacific Ocean on a daily basis (Oskin, 2015). Japan sent out a tsunami warning to the neighboring countries yet underestimated the size of the waves which came with much scrutiny from emergency response units of other countries. The magnitude of the earthquake is not without significance it shortened the length of a day by a millisecond and caused a shift in the Earth’s axis (Oskin, 2015). The triple threat of this disaster is unique yet could repeat itself in any place on the planet that has the same combination: an earthquake, a nuclear power plant, and a body of water. There are certain methods of the all-hazards model that could have mitigated some of the outcomes of this disaster.
For instance the first step in the model is arming oneself with education and a prevention plan to help minimize the effects of a natural disaster. In the Talladega EMA All Hazards video, the first step in emergency preparation is having a clear understanding of the hazard itself (Marketing Intelligence Agency, 2011). When Japan did no properly assess of determine the strength of the tsunami proper preparations were not in place to help stop the many deaths caused by the tsunami waves. Oskin mentions that approximately 110k nesting sea birds at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (2015). The second step establishes safe areas to secure people and wildlife against chemical disasters. Japan’s power plant was prepared for tsunami’s of lesser force magnitudes and simply did not mitigate for this event. The lack of preparation and without a contingency plan for the country main source of energy, the Japanese government has lost resilience in the eyes of its citizens (Spencer, 2013).
The third step entails the public access to emergency information to help victims of the disaster with safe areas to seek treatment. Japan was criticized for not giving the public a chance to prepare after the warning was initiated. The fourth step encompasses the individual responsibility we all must adhere to such as having disaster kits available and fully stocked as well as practice emergency drills frequently to instill habit. However, the most disturbing lessons learned from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan is how the culture of the Japanese tradition to protect its citizens negatively impacts the level of information sharing the country has with its own citizens and other countries.
Marketing Intelligence Agency (Producer). (2011, September 21). Talladega EMA all hazards video [Video file]. Retrieved from
Produced by Marketing Intelligence Agency, Inc. – www.mia6.com
Oskin, B. (2015). Japan Earthquake & Tsunami of 2011: Facts and Information. Live Science. No location: Purch. Retrieved from http://www.livescience.com/39110-japan-2011-earthq…
Spencer, M. L. (2013). Lessons from japan: Resilience after tokyo and fukushima.Journal of Strategic Security,6(2), 70-79. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/1944-0422.214.171.124
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