Situation around North Korea is worse now in these 50 years in Japan.
I recently incline to think what to do if North Korea war begins and missiles are dropped in Japan.
Are countermeasures similar to those of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011?
This is a simple question.
I hope this article can be referred not only Japanese but US citizens.
North Korea accelerates the development of missiles. South Korea and the U.S changed President. Then the situation around North Korea has changed a lot.
I hope for a peaceful resolution, however, it is the first time to me to this crisis after born in world war II.
When the Great East Japan Earthquake happened, I could not go home from office due to train stop.
I could catch taxi tomorrow and went home tomorrow, however, due to power interruption, train continued to stop a week.
Therefore, I kept monitoring new clear reactors news carefully, and I dealt with matters that I could cope with toward a possible crisis.
After returning to office, I developed a risk control plan.
Based on that experiences, I summarized what Japanese citizen have to do, i.e. goods to be prepared cautions of daily life and measures to asset management.
As a result, there are different actions that were not covered in the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Table of Contents
Citizen's risk if North Korea war begins
If North Korea war begins, all U.S, South Korea and Japan are involved.
Here, I study direct and indirect risks for Japanese citizens, that may be different from the nation and company in Japan.
Case 1: War place is North Korea only
This case is the US starts raiding attach to North Korea.
There are not any direct attacks from North Korea to Japan.
In this case, there are not any direct impacts on Japanese citizens.
However, there are indirect impacts.
Citizens in Japan worry a lot about the war situation and the possibility to be directly involved in the war.
The company employee has a risk for various constraints on company activities and movements.
For example, due to restriction for the move, the employee cannot go abroad, or foreign people cannot come to Japan, then, the business may stop.
For the person who manages asset, the stock market may be slumping and Japanese yen may be appreciated rapidly.
Case 2: War place is North Korea and South Korea only
Impacts are bigger compared with Case 1.
Basically, this case is similar to case 1, but damages expand neighbor nation, therefore worry and risk is much bigger.
Japanese working in South Korea will try to go back to Japan immediately.
Business around South Korea will stagnate.
Case 3: Attack to Japan as well
This is direct damage case to Japan, not only South Korea.
There will be the following risks by the attacks.
Chemical missile attach
Nuclear missle attach
According to North Korea TV, the hit points would be "Base of US corps in Japan".
Therefore, city and citizens near the base will be damaged and affected as well.
If the missiles are shot by anti-missiles, concerns are removed, but the level of the anti-missiles would be not the level to intercept all missiles.
In addition, if North Korea becomes out of control, this country will attack any place, so, limit to near base is not appropriate from risk management perspectives.
Other places would be a big city and nuclear power plants.
There will be direct damage to the hit point area, but other areas will have an impact in case of power disruption by the power plants.
Such an attack will not be just one time, but may be continuous.
This is a big concern as well.
For chemical missiles, inhale toxic gas or attachment of gas onto skins will be the mortal or similar risk to human.
For nuclear missiles, not only damage to hit point area, but indirect damage to the adjacent area will happen such as radiation effect by rain and air.
If power plants are destroyed, power stops and train stops; the power supply to home/factory/company will be stopped causing a big impact on society.
This indirect effects can be coped with lessons learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake.
How can citizen deal with this?
What to do?
After dropping missiles and time passes, similar actions can be taken that is based on the Great East Japan Earthquake.
However, the first reaction and actions just right after the missile drops are different.
There are three differences.
Can we take actions before the drop?
Can we identify drop point?
Measures to chemical missiles.
In Great East Japan Earthquake experiences, it took a day to understand nuclear power plant became dangerous situation after the earthquake and Tsunami.
However, I assume it will be difficult to know in advance since we will have only about 7 minutes before to know the missile drop by the Japanese-Alert nationwide system(J-Alert).
Next. Drop point.
In the Great East Japan Earthquake, nuclear power plant locations were clear and the source of the disaster was apparent.
What about missile drop? As a result, the drop location would be clear soon.
If the missile is the nuclear missile, we can see the location by big cloud.
Before that, there will be strong flash and then after a while, big boom sounds will destroy the window, then we can know this is a nuclear attack.
We can calculate the distance by the difference between the flash and the sound.
If the case is the chemical missile, drop point will be announced immediately by citizens, police, and government.
Measures to chemical missile are different.
For radioactivity, the N95 mask is just a dollar.
N95 mask removes more than 95% particles.
I could buy this mask by net right after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
This mask is not valid to the chemical weapon.
NBC mask is required.
NBC stands for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical.
Japanese NBC mask manufacture mentions this mask can be used as the temporary case.
Price of this mask is around 70 or 80 dollars in Japan.
However, it takes a month or two months to get it after ordering.
It is difficult to buy this mask in advance for Japanese citizen without knowing the chemical missile may come to Japan.
Therefore, as a practical way, the N95 mask is used and it is necessary not to go out of the house to avoid attaching chemicals on skins and to wear long shirts to avoid skin disclosure.
Next, I will describe goods to be prepared, caution in daily life, and measures to asset management.
You may think, " In this situation, is it necessary to think about asset management?", however, it will be necessary to protect an asset as well in addition to life.
Goods to be prepared
It is good to prepare goods like measures taken to the Great East Japan Earthquake.
The most troubling thing in the earthquake is the loss of news source due to disruption of power to the cell phone.
In addition, the toilet cannot be used due to loss of water system.
In the night, it was dark inside the room.
The situation may be different to each individual, but here is the list of necessary goods.
I could buy any goods at net except Geiger counter.
Radio(with battery and with self-power handle type for home use.)
Mini-light with a flute with a small light
Flashlight, Lantern light, and candles
N95 mask (Necessary for kids type as well.)
Emergency sleeping bag for the train commuter
Raincoat to go outside
Big water tank for loss of water system
Water filtration bag system for loss of drinking water
Emergency mini-toilet that does not require water
Army cotton gloves
Disposable heating pad (For winter)
First aid kit
Map ( to move without navigation system)
Long trousers and shirts
Geiger counter to measure radioactivity
I've ordered First aid kit and emergency kit. However, since it would take two or three months to get them, so we bought one-by-one by ourselves.
Yellow color ones are for chemical missiles.
Cautions in daily life
Both people in the house and in office need to be careful about description in this section.
Yellow marker sentences are the ones that were not experienced in the Great East Japan Earthquake, such as measures to nuclear missiles and chemical missiles.
As for missile attack, J-Alert systems should announce by silent signal and voice messages.
J-Alert system is equipped by both government and cities.
However, it is unclear that truly drop point is identified and citizen notices the alarm.
There is no training involving citizen.
However, we should recognize that the alarm may be announced.
Biggest damages are flash and shockwave when exploded.
Ref. もし東京に核が落とされたら。 爆発周辺の人達は全員死ぬんだと思っている日本人が多いといいます。しかも、その死因はほとんどは放射線であると。そういうことをきちん検証しない日本こそ被害が大きくなるのです。
Be careful about flash and shockwave!
Shockwave runs faster than sound. It will destroy windows and debris of windows will split by high speed causing big damage to human nearby.
There are many books about the nuclear attack by Prof. Jun Takada, Protection of radioactive, Sapporo Medical Univ.
Near-Term Actions(before a few minutes and a day after the disaster.)
You need to listen carefully to announcements about nuclear or chemical missile attack, after the J-alert alarm.
You need to recognize nuclear attack happens if you see an unprecedented flash.
When you hear J-ALERT alarm and announcements or see a strong flash, you need to act as followings right away within a few seconds and try to collect information.
Go down to an underground room if exists, including underground shopping center or subway stations. And close exit to the ground or hide behind a strong structure and hide skins as little as possible. Lie down on the ground.
If you cannot find these places right away, you cannot take these steps since a flash and shockwave comes very soon. In this case, the following actions are necessary. It also requires immediate movement, within a few seconds. Then you need to collect information.
In case you cannot escape to the underground, you need to go to the center building or house where there are no windows. Toilet, bathroom and stock room is also fine. If you don't have enough time to move, escape from the windows and hide from the windows such as under the table, or behind chairs.
In case of the chemical missile, an announcement will show the missile would be "chemical missile". You need to listen carefully and collect the right information.
If you hear abnormal missile drop sound, then try to collect information.
In this case, you need to escape to places of enclosed area to avoid toxic air inside the area right away and try to collect information.
If you are at home, do not move; do not go outside of the home. The following actions are required.
In case to isolate air outside such as NBC terrorist attack, gap of doors/windows have to be sealed by duct tape and soft plastic sheets. You also need to stop fans and air conditioner for isolation of the air outside.
Ref:テロや武力攻撃から身を守る方法と国民保護 - 富山県
You must not move after the disaster. Every place is very crowded if you move by car. You must not go outside until the radioactivity level or chemical level goes down to a small level.
If you need to go outside, such as taking your children to schools, you need to wear long shirts and trousers, hat and masks are also necessary to avoid contact with harmful particles. You need to prepare for your children as well. However, if it likely to rain, stop going outside since rain would be black with many harmful radioactive particles.
Steps after the disaster(after a day of the disaster.)
If you have to work, you need to follow direction from your company. However, you need to protect yourself and your family first.
Ground-rule is escaping from the danger zone.
Prepare communication with your family. However, the cell phone will not be active. You need to find fix phone services. Net will not be available as well.
Try not to go outside. If you need to go outside, wear long shirts and trousers. If it likely to rain, refrain going outside, or you need to wear a raincoat. However, if the rain is black, do not go outside since the rain contains very harmful particles.
If you go outside or job, bring a portable radio, sleeping bag, and maglight etc. depending on the distance from your home.
Try to collect information from net, television, and radio. Try to think what is necessary action time to time.
In the case of the Great East Japan Earthquake, drink and food were sold out soon in a convenience store. However, we could buy them in the supermarket.
Measures on asset management
If you have assets such as stock and mutual funds, you need to be careful how to handle. In the Great East Japan Earthquake, stock and mutual funds prices were fallen rapidly and Yen was strongly appreciated.
War situation with North Korea is wider than the earthquake, so impacts would be bigger than that.
If your risk asset is more than 30% of total asset, you need to think the followings;
However, the bottom line is you need to secure your life. This is more important than your asset as you see.
Sell 30% to 100% of your risk assets.
If the war situation becomes close and the market becomes normal, then you need to buy back all asset that you've sold.
If your risk asset is stock, fees are low.
You need to sell your asset before maximum panic in advance.
It may be different what amount you sell.
In my case of the earthquake in Japan, I sold every asset in the panic.
Next day, the market bounced back a little bit.
However, I saw the possibility of additional panic. So I made the right thing.
The situation was whether meltdown happened or not in nuclear plants. It drove very big explosion....
In case of war, it will not end within a day, therefore, sell separately, not in one day may be good.
I studied, assuming war situation with North Korea and missiles drops, necessary goods, caution in daily life and measures to asset management.
It is different from the first reaction taken in the Great East Japan Earthquake.
I've just remembered the story when the atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima from my mother.
I hope this big disaster will not happen again.
I also learned from the earthquake.
It is important to prepare by "What if it happens" even if you desire not to happen the disaster.
This article shows my personal views and I am not responsible for the outcome of your actions in the future.
Please study considering your situation.
You may also ask your city for risk management.
If you have any idea, please comment on my article.