Yamamoto Mutsumi, 28, art museum employee, Shizuoka-shi
Feb 4th (today). 19 days have passed after the quake. This is the Volunteers’ Manual of an evacuation center located in the former Yamate Primary School of Kobe-shi, Chuo-ku. Rather than actively participates in the relief activities, a volunteer should help the victims stand on their own feet.
Let me give an overview of this Yamate Primary School (former) evacuation center. This school was closed down in March 1994, and naturally has no teacher. Thus, the center is run by its occupants and volunteers. As it will not be used as a school again, we need to ensure its long-term operation for the sake of its occupants, which includes 330 occupants in the 21 classrooms, 20 in the tents, and 3-6 volunteers. We also have with us 1 - 2 district office employees on alternate half-day duty. The medical team from the Wakayama Medical University visits us frequently. The electricity supply and telephone service have been restored, but the water and gas supplies are still down.
An IC (person-in-charge) and Assistant IC have been elected from amongst the occupants to take care of the food and materials, and perform night guard, cleaning, and garbage duties. There is an OIC (overall in charge) too. As for the toilets, an alternate-day duty roaster by room is set up. Duty occupants are to supply water, replenish toilet paper, and clean and monitor the toilets.
The following have been set up to support the volunteer operation:
1. The occupants are to stand on their own feet. We should always help them to achieve that.
2. The relief materials belong to the occupants. Give whenever requested.
3. Implement useful ideas to improve the living environment.
4. Smile when in contact with the occupants. Create a cheerful environment.
Volunteers should handle individual situations as follows.
1. Telephone handling:
When there is a phone call for someone, write down his name based on the name list (names arranged in the 50-sound order), and give his roommate a note stating the caller’s contact information. Let the intended receiver make a return call using another phone. This phone shall be used for incoming calls only to facilitate easy communication of critical information.
2. Search for occupants/ Check for safety of occupants
Check the room-by-room name lists pasted on the wall. If a name is not listed on this list, check the name register (names arranged in the 50-sound order). If it is not listed either, provide the map of the nearby evacuation centers.
3. New occupants
Have him record his name and address in the name register (names arranged in
the order of the 50-sound order) and the room-by-room name list. Provide him
with three towels, and show
him the way to the library (as of Feb 4th).
The same applies to new volunteers.
4. Meal distribution
Meals shall be distributed at 7.30am, 12 noon and 5.30 pm.
The food section shall be consulted before a decision is made regarding the menu, taking the inventory, expiry dates and nutrient balance into consideration.
The menu shall be written on the blackboard.
The food section and the volunteers shall be in charge of the distribution.
Announcements shall be made for the meals to be collected room-by-room, e.g., ‘Good morning! Your breakfast is ready. Please collect it room-by-room.’
Record the names of the rooms and the number of occupants before releasing the food.
5. Water distribution (1- 2 tons a day)
Guide the water trucks.
As each truck contains a ton of water, prepare 50 plastic tanks.
Help to distribute the water together with the employees from the waterworks department.
Alternate the colors (black and gray) of the plastic tanks everyday to differentiate them.
6. Storage and transfer of materials
Place two carton boxes of cakes and groceries each before the staircase,
and allow the occupants to consume freely. Replenish these items from the
warehouse if they run out.
Clothes must be stored in the warehouse. If the quantity is too huge, talk to the material section and divide them amongst the rooms.
When the ingredients become available, make an announcement to gather
those who are in charge of cooking, e.g., announce the following cheerfully,
‘Those who’d like to cook and are particular about the taste of food, please
come to the cooking point.’
Make the occupants the key persons at the center. So, create a conducive atmosphere.
Once they have started cooking, we shall step back and monitor the process.
8. Firewood and scrap wood
With the permission of the owners of the neighboring condominiums, collect such wood once every two or three days.
9. Use of water
The water from the water trucks is drinking water and shall be boiled before consumption.
The water from the pond is for washing the toilets and hands.
Mineral water shall be consumed when taking medicine.
10. Transport of incoming materials
Provide support for the transport of incoming materials even when you are in the midst of other things. Check the types and quantities of any materials before carrying them to the warehouse. Pass the delivery order to the district office employees.
However, it is important not to create troubles for the occupants. The
manual is just a guide. Handle all situations on the ground according to the