With the summer approaching, more temporary houses are being built and more people have been moving to the houses from the shelter.
Mr. Yukio Ohgake, who coached earthquake victim supporters of temporary house residents in Kashiwazaki City in July 2007 after the Niigata-Chuetsu Earthquake, gives some advice on how to spend a happy and healthy life in temporary housing.
1) To survive the summer: from the rainy season to days with intense heat
◆ Take extra care of heat exhaustion: Drink water frequently to avoid dehydration, and use the air conditioner in the hot daytime to adjust room temperature.
◆ Outer walls of temporary house tend to become hot with heat from the sun. Be careful not to touch the wall, or you may burn your hands. A good example of how to prevent such an accident is using “green curtains.” In Kashiwazaki, we grew goya (bitter melon) and other climbing plants to cover the walls of temporary housing which looked like a green curtain.
◆ Take proper care of sanitation. High temperature and humidity can easily cause food poisoning.
2) Community building
◆ Moving to temporary housing may weaken the link of the existing community or of people-to-people.
◆ Take an active part in gatherings and other events in meeting halls. Keep in touch with your neighbors.
◆ Build links with your neighbors, which will help you learn more of the area around the temporary housing.
◆ A positive and active attitude in everyday life is essential. Do whatever you can in order to move a step forward.
General Livelihood Support Advisor, Kashiwazaki Council of Social Welfare