That’s one thing Rei Shimizu and other Mormons have learned in the days following the recent natural disasters in Japan.
When the earthquake hit, Shimizu was shopping with friends on the fifth floor of a building in Tokyo. No one was hurt, but she was stranded. As a result of the damage and devastation, the BYU student was unable to travel from Tokyo to her hometown of Toyama. Food and basic supplies have also been difficult to obtain.
“My family had prepared emergency supplies, and we thought that was enough,” Shimizu said in an email. “However, after this tragic earthquake and tsunami, we really felt it was not enough. We never expected this horrible disaster to happen, but now we all know that anything can happen, so we need to be more prepared.”
President William McIntyre, who presides over the Japan Kobe Mission, said the country has a history of being prone to natural disasters and thus has a strong cultural sense of preparedness. Evacuation points are well-marked, and periodically local governments conduct disaster readiness training through drills and rescue practices. School children are taught how to react in an earthquake. Coastal cities all have tsunami warning alarms, he said in an email.