In response to inquiries about emergency procedures, CIRs Nicole and Daniel put together a list of some general advice below:
Emergency procedures are different depending on the type of emergency, and missile tests and strikes require different actions than the natural disasters covered in the materials you have already received. In the case of any type of widespread emergency, information will show up on the official Kobe City website, but in rapidly developing situations, it may be available only in Japanese.
Should there be the possibility that a missile drops within Hyogo Prefecture, anyone with a phone purchased in Japan, and anyone who has subscribed to emergency alerts with any phone, will be notified immediately with an emergency alert telling you what is happening. Some of you who have lived in Japan for extended periods of time might have experienced a phone warning like this before when an 3.0 earthquake or stronger happens. Your phone will buzz loudly (even if it is on silent) and you will receive a message stating that a missile has been fired, and instructing you to immediately evacuate to the inside of a building (reinforced if possible) or underground. Your phone will continue to buzz, and any TVs or radios that you have connected to power should immediately turn on, notifying you on what is going on. There should also be extremely loud sirens going off all around your neighborhood, so please do not worry about missing the notification alarm, as you will definitely know. If you are at school, follow the directions of the other staff or copy what they do, if no one is actively giving directions.
When inside a building make sure to stay as low as possible, away from any windows and if possible under a table or other sturdy fixture for added safety. Go to an interior room or space if at all possible (a space that does not have any outside walls or windows). There will not be much time to evacuate in case of a missile strike. You will have an approximate 3~10
minute window once the alarms have been sounded, so make sure to get inside a building or underground immediately. Should you already be in a building it is advised to stay there. If there is indeed a strike and the building you are in is undamaged, shelter in place. If you must venture outside, be sure to cover as much skin as possible with long, layered clothing, and place a mask or handkerchief over your nose and mouth.
Should you get any type of dust, debris, or (perish the thought) fallout on your person, cut your clothing off (do not pull over your head, to reduce the chance of getting anything in your eyes, nose, and mouth) and wash thoroughly with plain soap and water as soon as possible. Avoid applying any personal care products such as lotion, hair products, conditioner, or other sticky or greasy substances.
The Hanayama & Tamondai guidebooks do have a section dealing with what to do in case of emergency, however, these are mainly intended for natural disasters like earthquakes or tsunamis, so please bear in mind that evacuating to your designated shelter may not be the best course of action in all cases. However, the neighborhood guides do contain information on creating an emergency bag with water, food, and supplies, and it is recommended that you do so and store the bag in an easily accessible place in your home. You may also want to make a smaller one to keep at your primary workplace. These types of bags are valuable and potentially life-saving in any type of extreme event.
The information we have provided is not intended to cause you undue alarm, but as we have been getting questions about what to do "in case", please do have a read over the above information and formulate an emergency/evacuation plan for yourself in your most frequented environments.
In all emergency cases, once the immediate danger has passed, do your utmost to get in touch with your school, ward team leader, one of us here at the SED, and CLAIR. Everyone who dutifully signed up for the CLAIR emergency net as asked at orientation should get an email from them soon after an emergency asking for a reply so that they can confirm your safety. If it's possible for our office to call and email, we will be reaching out to you at the same time.
If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to get in contact with any of us here at the SED. Thank you.
Nicole & Daniel