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Okinawans securing emergency stocks for disaster assistance

Date Posted: 2010-04-01

Okinawa emergency services agencies are beefing up emergency supplies stocks after watching the difficulties Chilean authorities faced following the massive February 27th earthquake.

Local authorities are working together to create upgraded emergency food stocks. Municipalities have been working together with supermarkets since as early as 2003, when Okinawa City first made a support agreement. Now, agreements are in place with Naha, Urasoe, Ginowan, Nanjo and Miyakojima Cities for goods without expiration dates to be stockpiled.

Supermarket chains are working with the municipalities. While municipalities paid for goods, much is now being donated by the supermarkets. Naha City has prepared foods and goods such as dry breads, biscuits, water, ready-made rice, and toilet items. The Chilean earthquake focused on the potential problems Okinawa could face, and Naha City has made agreements with five supermarkets for emergency support.

The Disaster Section director says that normal savings for emergencies, and distribution of goods for emergencies are different. Normal procedures apply immediately after a disaster, but after three days, the agencies must swing into a more aggressive distribution system. Supermarkets, officials say, are to bring emergency goods into play for extended relief efforts.

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