Earthquake Early Warning Hospital Applications
Disaster Medical Center, National Hospital Organization, Midori-cho, 3256 Tachikawa-city 190-0014, Tokyo, Japan
Earthquake early warning (EEW) applications have been studied and tested at the National Hospital Organization Disaster Medical Center since 2003. Hospitals are thought to be especially vulnerable in disasters. That is why special measures must be taken to prevent casualties. Based on these studies and our experience with earthquakes, three practical automatic applications have been implemented and readied for standby – (1) automatic alarm generation through the hospital’s broadcasting and visual warning systems, (2) automatic centralized elevator use, and (3) automatic door opening. The first action to be taken right after a warning is for medical staff, patients, and others to protect themselves from the immediate danger of falling objects and to avoid accidents during medical intervention backed by instruction manuals and training. Lifeline support and computer data saving should be applied and are being studied, and these are insufficient due to a lack of basic knowledge, high primary investment cost, and secondary maintenance cost. All of these necessitate a reliable, inexpensive standard EEW model and public financial support.