Earthquake drill

Earthquake drill
REUTERS/Yuya Shino

Kindergarten students sit in a playground during an earthquake simulation exercise at an elementary school in Tokyo on Tuesday. Schools in Chiyoda Ward held an annual evacuation drill to prepare for a major earthquake in Tokyo.

  • -22

    globalwatcher

    How would you like to grow up like this in fear? They are so innocent. My heart cries out for all children in Japan.

  • 20

    Gengar

    Natural Disasters do happen, its better to educate them young.

  • 6

    maxjapank

    Oh, I love it! How cute! Seriousness aside, Japanese kindergarteners wear some of the cutest things :)

  • 18

    DJDon

    They are being educated not to fear but to be prepared.

  • -8

    David Varnes

    Just what the hell are those things supposed to do? Oven mitt their heads to safety?

  • 7

    Marilita Fabie-Fujisawa

    After coming to Japan for they ery first time, and my kids started kindie here, I remember one of the requirements was to get them this soft head gears for earthquakes...i thought it bizarre first...but then I realized how practical and a good idea it was! Kudos to safety measures here!

  • -5

    Debucho

    yeah those will really help a lot. as long as nothing heavy falls and nothing comes from the front. geez

  • 11

    It"S ME

    Those head coverings do soften the impact a lot but work best against flying glass and burning debris.

    They are kept at the childrens desk either hung over the back or used as a seat cushion.

  • 0

    Fukuppy

    But not all schools have them. I've only worked in one town that actually did and they were used as seat-backers when not needed for drills or disasters.

    They do look cute though, even though it is a serious thing they are training for, but better to be as prepared as possible in a country where natural disasters are a distinct possibility in one's lifetime.

  • -14

    Disillusioned

    It's a little disappointing that Japan includes all these drills into every level of schooling every year and community centers run similar drills for adults, but when the big quake came nobody had any idea what to do and Tokyo virtually shut down!

  • 10

    In_japan

    If alarm goes off (falsely) at my apartment. My 4yr old is much more curious and active than me. I really want to thank kindergarten for these kind of simulation exercise.

  • 13

    kickboard

    Disillusioned, people in my office building walked down the stairs and exited the building in an orderly fashion after staying under their desks during the earthquake. Tokyo "shut down" because the trains weren't running. People patiently waited at the station or walked home. I didn't see anyone running around or panicking. Just long lines.

  • 0

    lostrune2

    Duck and cover!

  • 0

    AramaTaihenNoYouDidnt

    Live and Learn !!

  • 9

    ebisen

    How rubbish are those head coverings?! Why not get them to just wear their bicycle helmets...

    Oh man, the JT specialist squad is at it again!!. The headgear's main function is to protect against the searing heat of a fire, and in case of objects falling. They are designed not to take the full force of the impact (like a hardhat, which still can break a neck anyway), but to guide the falling object around the head and body, to the ground. Also, they can be used as seating cushions, they float, and and they keep the head (or body) warm in winter.

  • 2

    Freshmeat

    the last kid on the left dozed off already, keep the speech short!

  • 2

    Lowly

    They look like cute little martians!

    Am surprised at the number of commenters doubting that headgear. Hasn't any of you ever fallen off your bike or tripped walking with shorts on and then pants or jeans on? Just a little bit of thin covering can make a huge difference between a bruise and a long bit of shredded skin on the asphalt. This looks a bit thicker/ tougher than jeans, and added to that has apparent heat/burn-protecting properties. Probably also can keep you warm if winter. Easy for little uncoordinated kids to slip on. Your face is protected from the side a little but you have a range of vision. If it can float too it is really a pretty good engineered device. (yeah I know it's not a life preserver, but as with the jeans thing above, even just a little bit of bouyancy can be useful).

  • 0

    Triumvere

    "Duck and cover" was never going to save you from a nuclear bomb, but I think part of the value was intended to be psychological: "If disaster comes you are prepared. Don't panic, just follow the routine." The same logic applies to these little head coverings which, as posters have mentioned, may not have a lot of protective value, but are probably better than nothing. Like it or not, earthquakes are a reality of life in Japan and, unlike the cold war, are never going to go away.

  • 3

    Himajin

    but when the big quake came nobody had any idea what to do

    I don't think that's entirely accurate. People evacuated to shelters as they'd rehearsed time and time again.Put on their helmets and headgear and filed out of offices and schools, helped their elderly neighbors. It was the unusual height of the tsunami that changed the game. The last one that big was in 869 or thereabouts, it's no wonder it was not at the first thing people thought of on 3/11.

  • -1

    shanabelle

    These air raid hats are a bit much!!!

  • -6

    Disillusioned

    Hey Kickboard! I guess your experience was much different to mine! All I saw was people standing I the street totally dazed and confused. I saw one bloke standing in a vacant block and as I walked past he said, "jishin da!" Then, as I was walking down the street one of the stronger aftershocks came and all the people in the street ran to hide under a vinyl awning, which just happened to be across the road from the fire station. All the firies ran out and told them get out from under the awning. I was standing in the middle of the street laughing at the 50 or so people that had no clue what to do. That is why I said the drills mean absolutely nothing! It's because, at he time of the earthquake, it was only common sense that will save you, which is something that most Japanese people lack, unfortunately. Should I go on about the panic buying that proceeded in the next few days that emptied most of the supermarkets? The drills didn't prepare anybody for the main event and many people are still suffering from shock and have become hypersensitive to earthquakes because of it. Maybe the kids have an idea what to do, but the adults I saw were just running around like headless chickens!

  • -1

    kaimycahl

    @ Disillusioned

    That was very funny "as I was walking down the street one of the stronger aftershocks came and all the people in the street ran to hide under a vinyl awning, which just happened to be across the road from the fire station. All the firies ran out and told them get out from under the awning. I was standing in the middle of the street laughing at the 50 or so people that had no clue what to do".

    I guess running to hide under a vinyl awning is the true meaning of"Covering your ARSE" I guess their head for the day was just that! Because what protection a vinyl awning would erve!

  • 0

    Utrack

    Why does the lil boy on the far right look like he is choking??? Why are the straps under his chin????

  • 4

    Himajin

    I was standing in the middle of the street laughing at the 50 or so people that had no clue what to do.

    If not in imminent danger from falling objects, why run around? Why not stand where you are and assess the situation? Besides laughing, what were you doing that was better than what those around you were doing?

    The drills didn't prepare anybody for the main event and many people are still suffering from shock and have become hypersensitive to earthquakes because of it.

    What drills would those be, that totally inure someone to the shock of a devastating natural disaster, loss of home and family?

  • 0

    globalwatcher

    globalwatcherMar. 12, 2014 - 07:30AM JST

    How would you like to grow up like this in fear? They are so innocent. My heart cries out for all children in Japan.

    They are being educated not to fear but to be prepared.

    Okay, understood.

    And J. government want to restart a nuke energy. CRAZY.

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