Archive for the 'Emergency' Category

Weather girls go watch guerilla thunderstorms

The Worlds Largest Weather Geek Community A TV weather channel in Japan has added staff "Guerilla Thunderstorm Girls" to its volunteer force of citizens who report weather conditions around the country.

A "guerilla storm" refers to a severe thunderstorm which occurs with little warning – and is hard for forecasters to predict – and which has the potential for heavy downpours, high winds and tornadoes.

Weathernews has utilized volunteers nationwide to monitor the weather and developing thunderstorms since 2008. The 50,000 "Guerilla Thunderstorm Guards" use the "Guerilla Thunderstorm Defender" smartphone app to report conditions and send images and video of cloud formations and rainfall to Weathernews, which displays the reports online and in broadcasts. Viewers can also register to receive special weather alert emails on their phones.

Weathernews is able to direct volunteers to storm areas up to 30-minutes in advance of possible guerilla downpours.

The channel has now introduced a special team of Guerilla Thunderstorm Girls – some of the weather report anchors – who are sent out to observe the clouds where there is a possibility of a guerrilla thunderstorm.

The team is outfitted with ponchos imprinted with the slogan "The World [sic] Largest Weather Geek Community."


Weathernews channel Guerilla Thunderstorm Gals have nice ponchos Weathernews channel Guerilla Thunderstorm Gals party


Disaster cape for dogs has cushioned head hood

Suit protects dogs in Japan from earthquake and fire Disaster cape for dogs in Japan A company that makes fashions for dogs has created the "Patent DIsaster Cape" earthquake and fire protection suit for dogs. The silver flame-retardant outfit is padded on the top to protect the dog’s head and back from falling objects. The wind-resistant cape is trimmed with reflective piping and comes in a compact flame-resistant storage bag. Price: JPY 19,800


Disaster cloak protects dogs in Japan during earthquake or fire Disaster cape for dogs in Japan storage bag More photos

Real life in Tokyo following Fukushima and the earthquake

Pedestrians in Tokyo, Japan March 25, 2011Shoppers in Tokyo, March 25, 2011


We’ve been having some troubles here in Japan.  Maybe you’ve heard. I’ve written some articles about the earthquake and the coverage of the tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear reactors. You can read my reports here:

March 25, 2011
Op-Ed: Tokyo OK, foreign media’s sensational coverage shameful

March 16, 2011
US govt recommends 80 Km Fukushima evac zone; currently 30km

March 15, 2011
US agrees with reactor response ambassador in Tokyo says

March 15, 2011
Higher than normal radiation detected along Japan Pacific coast

March 14, 2011
Shielding possibly damaged by explosion at Fukushima No.2 Tuesday

March 14, 2011
Op-Ed: The earthquake aftermath in Tokyo

March 13, 2011
Rolling Blackouts Begin Monday in Tokyo

March 12, 2011
How I survived the Japanese earthquake

Government Fears March Suicide Madness

Japanese government suicide prevention campaign poster Japanese government suicide prevention TV commercial


Suicides increase in March in Japan so the government has begun an emergency 3-month suicide prevention campaign. National Police Agency statistics indicate the number of people who commit suicide is highest in March. The fiscal year ends on March 31 and it’s believed poor financial situations at companies cause managers to commit suicide. The NPA data also shows the number of annual suicides was over 30,000 for the past 12 years. There were 32,753 suicides in Japan in 2009.

Japanese government suicide prevention TV adJapanese government suicide prevention TV adJapanese government official hands out suicide prevention tissue packs attrain  station in Tokyo


The government suicide prevention website also attributes the high suicide rate to long working hours, severe unemployment, bankruptcies, and being liable for multiple consumer loans. As part of the stepped-up suicide prevention effort, consultation counters have been opened at all Hello Work public job-finding centers throughout Japan

Government-sponsored public service TV advertisements show a daughter expressing concern to her sleepy father. The ad advises people who have difficulty sleeping for two weeks or more to consult a doctor.

Fashionable Flu Filtering Face Masks From Japan

Stylish Masks Cool, Steam, and Fit Lips and Noses
High tech flu face mask in Japan Flu masks worldwide.

news item – Slowly but surely, swine flu continued to spread Friday, including to the ranks of the United States military, and across the globe the number of confirmed cases rose from 257 to 331, the World Health Organization in Geneva reported.(New York Times, May 1, 2009 )


Blue surgical-style face masks are being worn by millions around the world in an effort to prevent contracting the swine flu H1N1 virus. In Japan, masks are a common sight anytime people are suffering from a cold, hay fever or other allergies.
Plain blue flu mask. Styles of flu and virus masks in Japan.Japanese idol wears face mask to fight flu and allergies.
The world news reporting of the global swine flu situation indicates the wearing of masks in places other than hospitals is rather uncommon. Japanese have years of experience with mask-wearing, and we’ve gathered the best mask fashions. Choose from the nose-fit models, the form-fitting model with wire, the masks that won’t fog up your glasses, the designer masks, the menthol masks, the tea-filter masks, the masks that feel like a steam facial, and the masks that look like bra cups. Now you can fight the flu in style!
Flu face mask in Japan with cooling steam effect and Healon. Japanese nonstick hay fever face mask easy to peel off lipstick.Mask with nose pad and anti-fogging treatment for glasses wearers.Japanese mask fights flu with wet filter and comfortable nose cushion


Form fitting face mask in Japan Face mask with perfect fit on nose. Mask fight allergy and flu with special louvers. Omega-size wide pleats face mask for smaller faces, women in Japan



Earthquake Warnings via PC Pop-up or Dedicated Device

NTT early earthquake warning home receiver in Japan


Earthquake warnings pop up on computer screens in Japan for subscribers to the Urgent Earthquake Bulletin service from NTT telecommunications company.

When a quake alert is issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency, the NTT service will automatically open an alert window on a personal computer screen. An alarm sounds, and the warning window displays the estimated seismic intensity and counts down to the estimated arrival time.

NTT early earthquake warning home receiver specs in JapanNTT is also selling a standalone earthquake warning device called the Urgent Earthquake News Flash FLET’S Type. Flashing LED lights and an audible alarm indicate a quake warning and the quake arrival time and a countdown are announced. External warning lights can be connected to the device. FLET’S is an NTT brand of high-speed ADSL and fiber optic services.

NTT says the FLET’S quake warning service offers more precise data and details than the information that is offered in warnings on TV and in optional services that send email quake alerts to cell phones. 

A fixed-line cordless phone from Sanyo also automatically receives and loudly announces the JMA warnings. The system utilizes a standard telephone line and an included Local Area Network wireless terminal. The 1.7-inch liquid crystal display backlight on the phone handset displays a red warning, a light on the handset blinks, and the wireless LAN terminal lamp flashes red. The phone lamp also acts as a flashlight. (Read more : Phones Ring Earthquake Warnings)

An earthquake tremor occurs in Japan at least every five minutes, and annually there are up to 2000 quakes that can be felt by people.

The Urgent Earthquake Bulletin service costs JPY 525 per month. NTT sells the Urgent Earthquake News Flash FLET’S Type receiver for JPY 9,500. The monthly NTT maintenance charge is JPY 147. The unit uses an AC power source adapter. related: Getting ready for an earthquake in Tokyo; Earthquake Early Warnings.

Phones Ring Earthquake Warnings

Sanyo cordless phone receives earthquake warnings in Japan.A new digital telephone announces earthquake warnings issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency.
The system utilizes a standard telephone line and an included Local Area Network wireless terminal.

The fixed-line cordless phone from Sanyo automatically receives and loudly announces Urgent Earthquake News Flash alerts. Additionally, the 1.7-inch liquid crystal display backlight on the handset displays a red warning, a light on the handset blinks, and the LAN terminal lamp flashes red. The phone lamp also acts as a flashlight.

Sanyo cordless phone LAN system gets earthquake alerts in Japan.

Emailed earthquake alerts can be sent to registered email addresses. When mail is transmitted within about 30 minutes after the earthquake warning is received, the content of the "Safety Confirmation Mail" is automatically transmitted to a maximum of three pre-registered email addresses.

Sanyo cordless phone and wirelss LAN can receive earthquake warnings in Japan.An internet connection is required. The monthly service charge for the quake warning service is JPY 525, in addition to standard ISP charges and phone line fees. An Internet Protocol version 6 internet connection is also required. IPv6 allows more versatility in the transmission of data and is the successor to the current version 4.

Sanyo TEL-LANW60(W) about JPY 20,000-40,000 depending on number of cordless handsets.


Hi-Tech Solves Quake Toilet Shortage

Pocket Toilet portable emergency toilet inJapanTokyo to face ‘toilet refugee’ crisis in quake: study

TOKYO (AFP) — A dreaded major earthquake in Tokyo would set off a crisis of “toilet refugees,” with a restroom shortage for nearly 820,000 people, a government study said.

An expert panel of the government’s Central Disaster Prevention Council came to the conclusion this week while studying the potential impact of a 7.3-magnitude earthquake in the tremor-prone metropolis.

According to the study, some 817,000 people would find themselves without toilets two hours after such a big tremor, which would cut off 46 percent of Tokyo’s water supply.

The wait to use a toilet would be four and a half hours in central Chiyoda ward, home to the headquarters of major companies, government buildings and the imperial palace. “Besides food and water, shortage of toilets is one of the major issues in post-disaster situations,” said Itsuki Nakabayashi, head of the study panel.

The group is advising Tokyo residents always to carry pocket-sized tissue papers or plastic bags for emergency toilet use and urged companies to have portable toilets on standby….

Security Vending Machine Vandalized

Coca-Cola Security Guard vening machine vandalizedThe camera-police-hotline-alarm-equipped Coca-Cola vending machine installed in a park in Toyohashi, on October 10, 2008, has been vandalized. (Crime-Fighting Vending Machine) LJ October 12)

Police report the top-mounted security camera wiring had been cut and the camera was dangling over the front of the machine. "Surveillance society" (in Japanese) had been sprayed in black paint on the side of the machine. The word "watch" was sprayed on the back of the machine. The vandalism was reported by a passer-by around 1:45 a.m. on October 13.

The "Help Vending Machine" was provided by Coca-Cola in cooperation with the Aichi prefectural police. The machine is  located in Iwata Athletic park in Toyohashi, 250 kilometers south of Nagoya, Japan. Toyohashi was selected because of an increase in crimes since August 2008.  

The Toyohashi police station is investigating the vandalism on the suspicion of property destruction. The same police station is reviewing the images recorded by the security camera.

news source: Yomiuri (J) ; Mainichi (J)

Crime-Fighting Vending Machine

Coke machine guards park

Coca Cola vending machine similar to toy robot from 1960sA new vending machine has a built-in direct phone line to the police department, an alarm buzzer, a 24-hour video-recording surveillance camera, and a revolving red light on top.

"The "Help Vending Machine" was provided by Coca Cola in cooperation with the Aichi prefectural police. The machine is  located in Iwata Athletic park in Toyohashi, 250 kilometers south of Nagoya, Japan. Toyohashi was selected because of an increase in crimes since August 2008.  

The phone in the vending machine automatically dials 110 when the special front door of the machine is opened, the handset is picked up, or the button to activate the flashing light is pushed. The warning buzzer triggers when the door is opened, and the red light begins rotating. The video camera starts recording as a person approaches the machine.

Japanese children use the Coke vending machine police hotlineA woman test the Coca Cola emergency vending machine phone in Japan

Police believe the machine will deter crimes and aid reporting of suspicious activity.
Police did not comment on the resemblance of the crime detector machine to Chief Robotman.

news source: 47 News (J); Asahi (J). History of robot tin toys made in Japan.