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Precautions for Living in A Shelter

In evacuation centers, you will live with many people, and you will have a completely different life from your daily life. Let's check the precautions when you decide to spend at such a shelter. ((1)〜(4):“Guidelines on health management for people living in evacuation centers”・“Tokyo living disaster prevention”(Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare), (5):“Heart and body after disaster”(Bureau of Social Welfare and Public Health),(6):“Tokyo living disaster prevention”)

To be as healthy as possible

(1) Be careful of rehydration!

Women tend to put up with drinking water not go to the bathroom.  However, it is said that lack of water causes not only dehydration but also hypothermia, constipation and myocardial infarction.  So, don't try to reduce the number of times to go to the bathroom and drink water frequently.

(2) Exercise

If you don't eat or drink enough water and don't move for a long period of time, poor blood circulation can occur, resulting in blood clots and a risk of economy-class syndrome.  Move regularly to prevent it.  Even once an hour, exercising like the heel up and down (about 20 to 30 times) is effective enough.

(3) Oral care!

In evacuation shelters, in addition to having insufficient water, it is easy to develop cavity, periodontal disease, bad breath, etc.  Due to uneven eating habits, lack of rehydration, and stress.  Gargle with a small amount of water or tea, even though you can’t brush your teeth.  It is also effective to use a handkerchief or tissue paper to clean the teeth.

(4) Move as much as possible!

In evacuation life, reduced physical activity may reduce muscle strength and worsen joint stiffness.  Moreover, the risk of life inactivity diseases, such as irritation with worry, sleeplessness, palpitations, and shortness of breath appears, increases.  Exercising to keep your healthy condition willprevent you from various risks of diseases.

(5) Do not hold the stress reaction alone!

Anxiety, sadness, loss, anger at those around you, and many of the mental upsets of the disaster can occur to anyone.  Meeting and talking with people can ease your hard feelings.  Do talk to your family, acquaintances, friends, doctors, health centers, mental health and welfare centers, etc.

(6) Insomnia is a natural reaction

Losing sleep immediately after the earthquake is a normal biological response to coping with a crisis that has occurred around us.  Insomnia gradually goes away over time. In addition, since it is difficult to sleep in the poor environment of the shelter, it is important to change your conventional idea of sleeping, which means that it is good to sleep when you can sleep without worrying about going to bed at the time of the lights off.  The belief that you have to sleep at the same time as everyone else can make it harder to sleep.  We recommend you should sleep whenever you get sleepy even during the day.

To protect yourself from crime

Some people may try to relieve the mental stress of a disaster through violence against women and children.  It is necessary to raise the sense of crime prevention in order to protect oneself.  (More in detail read "Tokyo Life Disaster Prevention", Itabashi-ward "Protect me!" Disaster Preparedness Handbook for Women”)

(1) Act with more than one person!

Try to avoid acting alone.  When changing clothes and using the toilet, check the surroundings well and take measures such as making a lookout.  Especially at night, when going out at night or when going to places you are not familiar, you should have someone to go with.

(2) Valuables with you!

When you leave your space, carry them with you or ask a trusted person such as a family member to have.  Also, measures such as sleeping with your valuables are important.

(3) Do not talk about personal information!

The shelter is shared by an unspecified number of people.  In addition to evacuees, many other people come and go, including volunteers.  Therefore, be aware that you don't know who is listening to you, and don't talk about money or personal information in shelters.