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Mayor: Taipei to Draft Disaster Prevention Guide for Students, Offer Digital Version Download

Mayor Ko Wen-je embarked on a trip to learn more about Tokyo’s preparedness against disasters and experienced the earthquake simulator during a visit to Tokyo Rinkai Disaster Prevention Park on January 26.
Lauding the soundness of Japan’s disaster prevention and management system, Ko believes that Taiwan has much to learn from its northeast neighbor. The use of plastic bags as a makeshift strap for arm fixation, for example, is part of the survival training to each Japanese should one is injured in a large-scale earthquake.
Emphasizing the role of education in boosting preparedness, the mayor noted that he has instructed the Department of Education to incorporate a comprehensive course on personal safety awareness--in the event of earthquakes, fire, disease outbreak, and violence--throughout elementary, junior, and senior high schools starting the 2016 school year. The part regarding disaster prevention will be compiled involving education, fire, and health departments.
Inspired by Tokyo’s disaster prevention booklet, the mayor reckoned that it would be more cost-effective to make such guidelines available via download for mobile devices, instead of the city government’s current approach involving distribution of disaster prevention guide to individual households.
Regarding media concerns about the record-breaking cold spell in Taiwan, Ko noted that extreme weather poses a new challenge to the city government for devising new standard operation procedure to address scenarios when temperatures drop to 4-degree Celsius or even below freezing.
As to the ability of Taipei’s public housing structures to withstand tremors, the mayor pointed out that units meet stringent standards when it comes to earthquake resistance. He added that one of the reasons to push ahead with urban renewal lies in the fact that buildings built 35 years ago or older structures could collapse when a magnitude 6.5 quake hits the capital.