防災の取組

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e_hajimeni.png This manuscript was written jointly by Ishinomaki Mebaekai, a group of restaurant owners, and Compact City Ishinomaki, a community development group. It is the result of almost one year’s discussion and reflection about how these restaurants coped with the 2011 disaster, and is recorded here to share their experiences and the lessons they learned, both as a resource for disaster prevention in general so as never to repeat the tragedy of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and as a gesture of thanks to the many people from all over the country that have assisted with the reconstruction efforts.

Part 1: What to do in the event of an earthquake and/or tsunami

e_kunren_03.png When a natural disaster occurs, the small business owner is suddenly faced with many judgments to be made: whether to keep the restaurant open or not, and if not, the evacuation of customers, staff and family. After reflecting on their own firsthand experiences of the 2011 disaster, Mebaekai came up with a series of proposals intended not so much as hard and fast rules, but as suggestions that are flexible enough to allow owners to cope with a variety of situations.
Mebaekai’s proposals can be split into two themes: coping with customers, and actions taken by staff. The process by which these proposals came about is also referred to.

Part 2: Reflecting on the 3.11 disaster

e_dainisyou.png It is important to use the experiences of the Great East Japan Earthquake as lessons for how to cope with possible future disasters. Keeping a record of what actions were taken during 3.11 and assessing the effectiveness of these actions creates a valuable resource for future generations and other areas, in addition to allowing the people affected to hone their own disaster risk reduction strategies. Record keeping is, understandably, often not a priority when a disaster strikes, making it even more important to do so.
Data was collected outlining the actions taken by each business when the earthquake and tsunami struck, and these actions were also graded as good, ok, bad and don’t know. People were forced to think long and hard about some of the snap decisions they were forced to make, and there are still points where it would be difficult to know how to react even if placed in the same situation once more.

Part 3: Rebuilding

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 Despite being faced with a mountain of problems, sheer force of will succeeded in helping the owners to rebuild step by step. Problems included clearing out mud that the tsunami had left behind, rebuilding and remodeling premises, moving to temporary premises, raising funds and coordinating with reconstruction businesses. From efforts to clear up just after the disaster to longer-term reconstruction, the owners shared their own individual experiences, and information about things such as government subsidies for disaster-stricken businesses, and are still working together now from a BCM (business continuity management) perspective.
e_yahataya_01.pngHow did these owners manage to rebuild their lives and businesses? They have explained this in a record that tells of the experiences and feelings of each owner from the disaster itself to successful reopening of their businesses, including photographs of their restaurants, both just after the disaster and after successful reconstruction.

Part 4: Disaster risk reduction for restaurants

e_orientesyon.png A safe and secure restaurant means creating an environment in which it is easy for customers to evacuate in the event of an emergency. Using techniques such as map exercises and nighttime evacuation drills, the owners have produced information in separate sections for owners, floor areas and kitchen areas. These include information particularly suited for these respective areas, based on evacuation information from the very eyes of the managers, chefs and staff involved.
Photographs and detailed summaries are also included of the nighttime evacuation drills, which were carried out with the cooperation of extra participants acting as regular customers. Through this information, business owners can gain a clear and complete understanding of what to do, from the occurrence of a disaster right up to successful evacuation. Hints from actual staff participants are also included.

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