Enhancing local responses through disaster resilience in schools and communities in Japan

Rajib Shaw, Shohei Matsuura

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Schools play an important role in Japan by becoming evacuation centers after disasters. Depending on the nature of disaster, the school can be occupied for several days to several months. Therefore, schools play a crucial role in disaster risk reduction and can contribute to very strong bonding with the local communities. This chapter describes the experiences of six cities with the roles of schools during disasters. Kamaishi, Kesennuma, and Natori, three cities affected by the tsunami, have shown the important role that schools played in the time of disaster. Although some schools were destroyed in these three cities, people spent significant time in other schools as evacuees. Pre-disaster preparedness of schools and communities helped a lot in this regard. Taking the experiences from the East Japan disaster, Saijo, Owase, and Oobu cities in West Japan demonstrated their preparedness for future disaster. The chapter also shows that school-centered disaster preparedness before the disaster leads to an effective role during the disaster and also facilitates postdisaster recovery with schools as the center.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRisks and Conflicts
Subtitle of host publicationLocal Responses to Natural Disasters
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9781781908204
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameCommunity, Environment and Disaster Risk Management
ISSN (Print)2040-7262
ISSN (Electronic)2040-7270


  • Disaster preparedness
  • East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
  • Local response
  • School centered recovery
  • School community linkages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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