Knowledge Notes, Cluster 2: Nonstructural Measures
Japan has had a disaster management system in place since the Disaster Relief Act of 1947 and has long used disasters as opportunities to continuously improve that system. The initial emphasis was on disaster response, later complemented by prevention, mitigation, and preparedness; emergency response and recovery; and rehabilitation and rebuilding. Over the years, the country’s investments in disaster preparedness have been wide ranging, covering seismic and tsunami detection, early-warning systems, multichannel systems for disseminating warnings, hazard mapping, evacuation planning (routes and shelters), regular disaster training and drills in schools and at workplaces, and improved signage.
Municipal governments have the main responsibility for disaster management, including formulating and implementing local disaster management plans based on the national plan, establishing community-based organizations, distributing hazard maps to the public, raising public awareness, and developing evacuation procedures.
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