Japan recently experienced a 7.3 magnitude earthquake that triggered a tsunami warning in Fukushima Prefecture. For those who are new to Japan, earthquake protocol may not be high on your list of “things to remember.” During a conversation at GoConnect HQ, we swiftly realized that many of our team members—some of whom have been here for years—don’t have emergency bags prepared. So, to help the GoConnect team as well as others out there, here are the five essentials to include in your emergency backpack!
Before we begin the list of things to put inside the bag, you’ll need to acquire the bag. It’s generally recommended that you use a backpack to keep both hands free in case you find yourself in a particularly dangerous situation. It is also good to use a backpack that is sturdy but lightweight. Finally, you’ll want to keep the bag in a location at home that you’ll be able to reach quickly and easily.
Food and Water
Dried, canned and long-lasting foods are a must to include. Items with a long expiry date (nuts, biscuits, canned food) and foods with high nutritional value are the best choices. Including a couple of konbini dried ramen noodles is also a good idea!
Also, don’t forget to include bottles of water for both drinking and sanitation. It is generally advised that you use water without minerals for longer shelf life. Also be aware that Japanese consumers frequently buy water—and toilet paper—in bulk after earthquakes. So if there’s just been one, be aware that you might need to do a bit of hunting.
First Aid Kit
A variety of medical supplies contained nicely in one box or bag is another must for earthquake preparedness. You can purchase general first aid kits from stores all over, but it is important that the one you choose includes adhesive bandages, pain killers, disinfectants, and an aluminum blanket to keep either yourself or other injured people warm.
A flashlight is a key item in case you find yourself without power or need to navigate your way out of a dark place. While a general battery-operated flashlight will do the trick just fine, it could also be a good idea to invest in an LED flashlight, or a hand-powered light—great in case you run out of batteries.
Make copies of all of the important documents for yourself and any family members you live with, in case they are destroyed or lost during the emergency. These include copies of your resident cards, passports, health insurance cards, and a list of all emergency numbers and important contacts.
Finally, make sure that you’ve included a decent-sized stash of bills and coins in your backpack. This is extremely important to have, just in case you leave your cards and/or wallet behind.