resilience reporter

resilience starts with information

Easy Japanese can be mailed to foreigners in time of disaster

Atlantic City and Miami Beach: two takes on tackling the rising waters


Michel Rodriguez tries to jump to a shallow spot as he crosses a flooded street in Miami Beach in 2015. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Irish Pub near Atlantic City’s famed boardwalk doesn’t have any locks on the doors as it is open 24 hours a day. So when Hurricane Sandy crunched into what was once known as the Las Vegas of the east coast in 2012, some improvisation was needed.

Regular drinkers helped slot a cork board through the frame of the door, wedging it shut and keeping out the surging seawater. The wild night, which severely damaged more than 320 homes and caused a week-long power blackout, was seen out by those taking shelter with the help of several bottles of Jameson.

But Sandy was just the headline act among increasingly common flooding events that are gnawing away at the thin island upon which the city sits.

“Sandy, as devastating as it was, isn’t the greatest barometer because we have flash floods,” said Cathy Burke, who has run the…

Easy Japanese can be mailed to foreigners in time of disaster

Foreigners who cannot read or speak Japanese are in particular danger when a natural disaster strikes as they are unable to understand safety advice or instructions.

Students at Hirosaki University’s sociolinguistics lab, guided by professor Kazuyuki Sato, have developed easy-to-understand disaster information templates to help fix this problem.

The templates, written in “yasashii Nihongo” (easy Japanese), have been made available on the lab’s website, so that disaster information can be transmitted even to those who are not good at reading the language.

The templates were devised based on special rules, such as using no difficult words and adding phonetic transcriptions for kanji in…


Cyclone Debbie: Communities struggling to reach emergency services say ‘nobody came to see us’

Cyclone and flood-ravaged communities along the Queensland coast are returning to their homes and assessing the damage, but some residents say they feel they have been forgotten…


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This entry was posted on 04/04/2017 by in Uncategorized and tagged .



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