The book “Things don’t go according to plan” and “Imagination is more important than objects”… Why the evacuation book with animals is slowly attracting attention. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The book “Things don’t go according to plan” and “Imagination is more important than objects”… Why the evacuation book with animals is slowly attracting attention.

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Following cats and dogs, a bird edition will be published in February this year!

While the recovery from disasters around the world is still in its infancy, new disasters keep coming one after another. In order to survive in such a disaster-prone country like Japan, various books on disaster preparedness have been published.

One of the most energetic is the “Most Useful Pet Disaster Prevention Book” by Nitto Shoin Honsha, which published a bird edition in February of this year, following on the heels of its cat and dog editions.

Junko Hirai of the NPO Anais, a specialist in animal disaster prevention, says, “Every situation that arises in a disaster is a rare case.

Why these books? We interviewed the company’s editor in charge, Maho Honda, and Junko Hirai, representative of the NPO Anais, which supervises the series.

I was still a high school student at the time of 3.11, living at home in Ibaraki Prefecture, when the disaster struck along with my family and our cat. There were power outages for several days, and gas and water services were cut off. Because the cat was a timid child and elderly, we evacuated the home as a process of elimination.

I just followed my parents’ instructions, but it was quite difficult and I kept thinking, “What should I have done at that time?

At that time, there were several books on disaster prevention for pets published by other companies, but they did not provide specific numbers for disaster prevention items to be placed in emergency bags, for example, and I felt that this did not alleviate my anxiety.

From there, they interviewed Ms. Junko Hirai of the NPO Anais, a specialist in animal disaster prevention, and consulted with Ms. Sonoko Tomita, a writer and editor who has worked on many pet books, to develop the project.

The first book, “Definitive Edition: Disaster Prevention Book for Surviving with Cats,” sold over 20,000 copies, followed by “Definitive Edition: Disaster Prevention Book for Surviving with Dogs,” in response to the question, “Do you have a book for dogs? The third volume of the series is now available in a bird edition.

The “Disaster Simulation Chart” at the beginning of the book is also used by the Ministry of the Environment.

The series begins with a “Disaster Simulation Chart” and follows the structure of Chapter 1, “Preparing for Ordinary Disasters,” Chapter 2, “When a Disaster Occurs,” and Chapter 3, “How to Live in an Evacuation Shelter and Reconstruct Your Life. The “Disaster Simulation Chart” at the beginning of the book is particularly popular for its usefulness. Mr. Hirai, the creator of the chart, says, “The Disaster Simulation Chart was originally developed as a tool to help people understand how to prepare for a disaster.

The disaster simulation chart was originally created when we jointly developed a cat evacuation carry bag with a company called Dream in Nagoya. which was created for cat owners when we jointly developed a cat evacuation carry bag with a company called Dream in Nagoya. The chart format is easy to understand, and I was on the editorial board of the Ministry of the Environment’s guidelines for disaster countermeasures for people and pets, which are also included in the guidelines.

When creating the chart, I organized it while recalling past experiences. Basically, even if animal species change, human behavior and precautions do not change much. What changes is ‘whether the animal participates in society with its owner’ or ‘whether the animal never leaves the house.

For example, with dogs, there is the question of what to do if a disaster occurs while walking, but with birds and other small animals that are kept indoors, it is unlikely that a disaster will occur while walking, so such differences are arranged for each animal species.

However, since every disaster situation is a rare case, the examples in this book are only a few of them.

The “Disaster Simulation Chart” at the beginning of the book is well known for its usefulness (from “Kettei-Ban Tori To Tsunagaeru Bousai Bokku” (“Disaster Prevention Book: Surviving with Birds”), Nitto Shoin Honsha).

Although Ms. Hirai is a pet disaster prevention professional who has experienced numerous disaster sites, it was the Miyakejima volcanic eruption in 2000 that made her decide to make this activity her lifework.

I was living in Tokyo at the time and was asked by the Japan Animal Welfare Society, a welfare organization I was involved with, to help them build an animal shelter.

While working at the shelter, I came into contact with many people who had been affected by the disaster, and I came to realize that pet disaster prevention is not just about rescuing animals, but also about supporting the people (owners) beyond the animals.

Of course, we were taking good care of evacuated pets, but by temporarily taking care of pets from people who cannot live with their pets for the time being due to temporary housing conditions, pet owners can focus on restoring their lives. If we can help people rebuild their lives by providing an environment where owners who are ‘determined to live with their pets again’ can come to see their pets at any time, then I think that is support for people.

Before I started this activity, I had a relative who was affected by the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, and when I visited the affected area immediately after the earthquake, I met a dog that began to behave abnormally, perhaps from the shock of the tremors. I had to wander around in a car in the torrential rain.

After I started working at the Miyakejima Volcanic Eruption Disaster Animal Rescue Center, I thought, “It is too late to think properly after a disaster has occurred, so I decided to launch Anais to share my experiences and what I have learned through my activities. The year after the Miyakejima Volcanic Eruption Disaster Animal Rescue Center was established, it was incorporated as a non-profit organization and began full-fledged activities.

I came to realize that pet disaster prevention is not just about rescuing animals, but also about supporting the people (owners) beyond the animals,” says Hirai (photo: image / PHOTO: AFLO).

Goldfish, arowanas, iguanas…common problems at disaster prevention sites

What kind of problems are actually common at disaster prevention sites?

Most of them have never thought about disaster prevention, never imagined it, or never prepared for it. They were at a loss in the event of a large-scale disaster. They didn’t know where to evacuate to, and what they had prepared was not enough.

Pets are not only dogs and cats, but also small lives are important to those who have them. From what I have seen and heard in the field, there were people who evacuated with goldfish in mugs or with entire aquariums in their arms. There was a funny story about a husband who was desperately trying to hold down a large case of arowanas (tropical fish) so that it would not fall over during the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, and his wife said to him, “You were protecting the arowanas, not your family or me.

Whenever I visit disaster-stricken areas, I am always asked about all kinds of problems such as how to keep pets in evacuation shelters, what to do with iguanas and other civets that need a warm environment when there is no electricity, what to do when food is not available, and so on. You have seen all kinds of problems, such as “What to do when there is no electricity?

The book provides specific guidelines, such as a “0-day supply,” although it is only an example. It is also reassuring to know that the information is based on Ms. Hirai’s experience in the disaster area and interviews with pet owners, despite the lack of papers and other academic publications.

When it comes to interviews during a disaster, the timing is difficult. For example, it is naturally impossible to interview people when their family members are missing. When we deliver relief supplies, we proceed in a manner that says, ‘If you feel like talking to us, we would like to hear from you.

Scenario-based training will no longer work in a disaster.

When it comes to pet disaster prevention books, there is an image that they are supervised by specialists of each animal species, but it is a different story if the specialists of that species know about “disaster prevention”.

However, it is a different story if the experts of that species know about “disaster prevention. The first priority is human life. For example, if you want to know the characteristics of an animal, such as how dangerous it is or how problematic its behavior is, it would be better to ask a specialist in that field for the appropriate advice.

However, the problem is that even if you are an expert in dog training, the training scenario will not work for a dog that is panicking in an evacuation shelter during a disaster. In the case of a disaster, there will be irregularities such as a dog that normally does not bark at all will bark abnormally, or a dog that normally barks a lot and has been consulted for training will not bark at all in an evacuation center.

Although specialized knowledge of each animal species is necessary, I think that experience in disaster situations is also necessary to understand what happens when the environment changes drastically.

In a disaster, everything is a rare case, so there are many cases where textbook countermeasures do not work.

For example, birds are evacuated in baskets, but if they panic inside and damage their feathers, it may be safer to put them in a small plastic case. Some of the same birds are large, some talk, some stop singing when nervous, and some, like canaries, die when overly stressed, so there is no end to the number of species if we start talking about them by type.

This is common to the entire series, but these are not bibles; they are just for reference and to be arranged by the owners.”

It is important to imagine the necessary preparations for each household according to the species of animal and the nature of the individual. I would like people to always train their imaginations of what they would do if a disaster occurred now,” said Mr. Hirai (Photo: Image/PHOTO: AFRO).

Mr. Hirai emphasizes that “more important than things is imagination.

It is important to imagine the necessary preparations for each household according to the species and characteristics of each animal. I want people to constantly train their imaginations about what they would do if a disaster occurred now.

In addition to that, it would be ideal if you have things ready. What would you do if a disaster occurred while you were out, while your grandmother was at day care, while you left your pet at the store for trimming, or while you were sleeping?

By the way, “pet disaster prevention” is not only an issue for pet owners. Hirai says that the first priority is to “ensure the safety of people,” and that it is necessary to take the perspective of the local community that all family members are safe, including pets, which will lead to the safety of the community and its participation in the recovery efforts.

I urge pet owners to be aware of disaster preparedness and to first prepare for the survival of themselves and their families.

Some people who evacuated with their pets were not prepared for anything, or they took it for granted that they would receive support because they had been affected by the disaster, and thought that someone would help them or that the local government would provide them with relief supplies.

Troubled owners” and “hardworking owners” in disaster areas…

Ms. Hirai cited examples of “owners in trouble” she came into contact with at disaster sites, and expressed her thoughts on the book as follows.

For example, when the Great East Japan Earthquake was prolonged and shelters were operating for a long time, we asked owners if we could take back the dogs they had been taking care of. Another person purchased a pet in a rented house where pets were not allowed, started to keep it, and came to the shelter after the landlord found it.

I think pet owners have both an “owner responsibility” to protect their pets and a “social responsibility” to ensure that their pets do not cause trouble in society,” said Hirai (photo: image / PHOTO: AFLO).

Some pet owners do not make any effort to find new owners when they can no longer keep their pets, but instead take advantage of the disaster relief efforts to give their pets away.

Troubled owners are becoming more and more dependent on us. There were those who suddenly declared at veterinary hospitals, “I am a disaster victim, so please give me free medical care,” and there were those who demanded, “Please prepare this brand of food, not this manufacturer’s food,” while supplies were in short supply.

On the other hand, there are some hard-working owners who are going to work part time from the shelter to buy filaria preventative medicine for their dogs.

If you can manage your own pets at your fingertips, they will be your reassuring support, and there is also the public benefit of preventing the increase of roaming animals in the affected areas from deteriorating the environment and harming people.

I believe that pet owners have “owner responsibility” to protect their pets and “responsibility to society” to ensure that their pets do not cause trouble for society.

To be able to fulfill those two responsibilities, we should prepare for disasters. Instead of relying on someone else to save you, you should be prepared to protect your family and pets. I hope this series of books will help as many people as possible to become such “conscious pet owners.

The Definitive Disaster Prevention Book for Surviving with Birds” Nitto Shoin Honsha, Inc.

Junko Hirai Representative of the NPO ANICE. Secretary General of the Tokyo Veterinary Medical Association. In 2002, she established the NPO ANICE in the wake of the Miyakejima eruption disaster, and it has been 21 years since then. When a disaster occurs, he is involved in animal rescue activities conducted by the local relief headquarters in cooperation with the national and local governments, and also goes to the disaster area to collect information. They also visit disaster-stricken areas to collect information, organize and analyze it, and disseminate it widely to the public. He edited the Ministry of the Environment’s “Guidelines for Disaster Countermeasures for Humans and Pets” and participated in wide-area support drills as an advisor on animal disaster prevention measures.

  • Interview and text by Wakako Takou

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