New Approaches Toward Tsunami Risk Preparedness in Japan

Single-Person Drills with Elderly Residents
  • Yingying SunEmail author
Part of the Integrated Disaster Risk Management book series (IDRM)


The 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and following predictions of a Nankai megathrust earthquake have aroused great concerns on tsunami risks among the Japanese people. Among those concerns, three types of negative attitudes toward tsunami risk preparedness were perceived: overly pessimistic, overly optimistic, and overly dependent. To alleviate these negative attitudes, this study proposes a community-based tsunami preparedness strategy, termed as “single-person drill” in local communities characterized with high-aging populations. During the drill, an elderly evacuee wears a global positioning system device and heads away from his/her home toward a designated evacuation shelter. A group of school students record the drill process. All of the drill records are then synthesized into multiscreen movies with the following contents: the evacuee’s behavior, messages of risk communication between the evacuee and students, and GPS tracking information overlaid on a simulated tsunami animation. This study suggests that the single-person drill has the functions of applying small-scale artefacts (e.g., video cameras and GPS devices) to the utilization of large-scale artefacts (e.g., seawalls and evacuation shelters). It also functions to shift the focus of tsunami risk preparedness practice from the community level to the individual level. More importantly, the single-person drill is found to have changed negative attitudes regarding tsunami preparedness, transforming residents’ self-views from those who would need help, to being someone who would take initiative in reducing tsunami risks.


Tsunami risk prediction Elderly residents Elementary school students Multiscreen movie Artefact Practice Identity 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sichuan UniversityChengduChina

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