There are cultures to anticipate for natural disasters in residential areas where disasters occur frequently. The facts of past disasters are often found through legends, traditions, place names and so on, because it is difficult to be preserved document records in these areas. In this paper, I introduce several examples to identify suffered areas from disasters using legends of red cattle, snakes, dragons and various proverbs, and also lead them to improve residents' awareness of disaster prevention and mitigation.
One of the most important themes of psychology in relation to disasters is whether ordinary people can correctly recognize the risk of disasters or not. There are many examples in our history that people could not appropriately recognize the risk of disasters and failed to evacuate in time. As a result, they suffered from serious damages, which they might have avoided. Many psychological studies dealing with cognitive information processing in human reasoning and judgment process have pointed out a lot of cognitive biases that cause such inappropriate decision-makings in emergencies. In this paper, I outline the nature of cognitive biases from the view point of cognitive psychology, especially of “the normalcy bias”. Then I will suggest that characteristics of such cognitive biases should be taken into account in order to improve our capacity in various disasters.
In recent years, warning evacuation information for promoting early evacuation of residents from sediment-related disasters is being enhanced. Meanwhile, firefighters who encourage evacuation need to pay attention not only to sediment-related disasters but also to flood damage and so on. And there is a possibility that evacuation guidance from sediment-related disasters can not be conducted. In this research, we will summarize the relationship between the response of the firefighters and the alarm information issuance time at the time of flood in the Nachi River basin in 2011, and conducted questionnaires to the firefighters in order to examine future measures for evacuation drills. By grasping the dangerous area as for the sediment-related disasters and making the evacuation drills after creating evacuation plans, we found that there is a possibility of prompt evacuation guidance at the time of the disasters.
In Wakayama prefecture, Kii Peninsula disaster in 2011 caused serious damage due to deep-seated landslides and river blockages. So, we found that the appropriate evacuation behavior of residents at the time of sediment-related disasters is important. As a case of the past disaster in Wakayama prefecture in 1953, the disaster in the Arida River basin large damage occurred due to the slope failures occurred in Hanazono Village (Now Katsuragi Town) and the river channel blockage being destroyed. On the other hand, in some districts, people protected themselves by rapid evacuation behaviors. In this research, we focused on the actions of people who could evacuated of warning area absence of warning evacuation information like in recent years. So, we listened to the person who experienced the disaster in 1953. We have found that people who could evacuate knew that evacuation sites and have the knowledge of sediment-related disasters. So, they could evacuate rapidly and it led to the reduction of the damage.
In disaster prevention against natural disasters, it is necessary for people to make appropriate actions at an early stage. However, there are many subjects such as information relating to local knowledge and dispatch of evacuation information, etc. NPO activities were developed from the viewpoint of what can be done and useful to solve such social problems. And, to improve the disaster prevention ability of people, a multidimensional network in the interdisciplinary area called disaster prevention is indispensable, and we want to emphasize that the knowledge obtained there is important.