JDR Vol.16 No.4 pp. 747-764
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2021.p0747

Survey Report:

A Report of the Questionnaire Survey on Awareness of COVID-19 and Shelters

Arisa Yasui*,† and Muneyoshi Numada**,***

*Department of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8505, Japan

Corresponding author

**Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

***Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

September 14, 2020
January 2, 2021
June 1, 2021
COVID-19, shelter management, awareness of risk, infectious disease measures, citizens

The 2019 novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, has rapidly spread across the world, and has since become not only a health problem but also a socioeconomic problem. In disaster-prone countries like Japan, there is substantial concern about the occurrence of natural disasters during the COVID-19 pandemic. When a natural disaster occurs, many people evacuate to shelters, and an outbreak of infectious disease often happens in shelters. In this situation, we should consider the management of evacuation shelters under this pandemic situation. Many types of research have investigated infectious diseases in shelters after a natural disaster. However, these are about infectious diseases after a disaster, and not about the occurrence of natural disasters under a pandemic like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, such researches mainly focus on medical teams or local governments who respond to infectious diseases. Based on the above mentioned information, the purpose of this study is to clarify (i) the change in citizens’ awareness of risk influenced by the spread of COVID-19 and (ii) the measurement and decision necessary for evacuating people under COVID-19. We administered a questionnaire to Japanese citizens from April to May 2020, and found that majority of people do not want to have evacuation life under COVID-19, and this tendency is larger among people who live together with the aged and the care-needed. In addition, this research confirmed the risk awareness structure applicable to both COVID-19 and natural disasters. The results show that many people firmly ask governments to take measures against infectious disease such as using hotels as shelters, securing personal spaces in shelters, storing masks and disinfectors, and so on during an outbreak of an infectious disease. However, it is not enough to take such measures only; it is necessary to provide accurate information and mental support to reduce anxiety in people. Based on these results, we should consider more about the management of shelters under COVID-19 as soon as possible before the arrival of typhoon season.

Cite this article as:
A. Yasui and M. Numada, “A Report of the Questionnaire Survey on Awareness of COVID-19 and Shelters,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.16 No.4, pp. 747-764, 2021.
Data files:
  1. [1] World Health Organization (WHO), “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Situation Report – 146,” June 14, 2020.
  2. [2] World Health Organization (WHO), “Cumulative Number of Reported Probable Cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS),” [accessed June 15, 2020]
  3. [3] World Health Organization (WHO), “Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV): Summary of Current Situation, Literature Update and Risk Assessment – as of 5 February 2015,” [accessed June 15, 2020]
  4. [4] Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, “Q&A about COVID-19,” June 13, 2020, (in Japanese) [accessed June 15, 20]
  5. [5] T. M. Alon, M. Doepke, J. Olmstead-Rumsey, and M. Tertilt, “The Impact of COVID-19 on Gender Equality,” National Bureau of Economic Research, NBER Working Paper, No.26947, 2020.
  6. [6] The World Bank, “Global Economic Prospects,” 2020.
  7. [7] S. Baert, L. Lippens, E. Moens, P. Sterkens, and J. Weytjens, “The COVID-19 crisis and telework: A research survey on experiences, expectations and hopes,” Global Labor Organization, GLO Discussion Paper, Article No.532, 37pp., 2020.
  8. [8] K. Ueyama et al., “Current Situation and Future Suggestions of Niimi University as an Evacuation Shelter Due to the Heavy Rain Disaster in July 2018,” Bulletin of Niimi University, Vol.39, pp. 185-187, 2018 (in Japanese).
  9. [9] T. Ito and H. Kawana, “School as a ‘designated evacuation shelter’ in the event of a disaster A case study at an elementary school located in an area affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami,” Ibaraki University Faculty of Education Bulletin (Educational Science), Vol.65, pp. 425-435, 2016 (in Japanese).
  10. [10] “West Japan heavy rain 90% of the dead in Mabi are too old to go upstairs at home,” Mainichi Newspapers, July 22, 2018, (in Japanese) [accessed June 15, 2020]
  11. [11] I. K. Kouadio, S. Aljunid, T. Kamigaki, K. Hammad, and H. Oshitani, “Infectious diseases following natural disasters: prevention and control measures,” Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy, Vol.10, No.1, pp. 95-104, 2012.
  12. [12] M. Kim, T. Kamigaki, K. Mimura, and H. Oshitani, “Survey of Infectious Diseases in Evacuation Shelters in Miyagi Prefecture after the Great East Japan Earthquake,” Japan Public Health Magazine, Vol.60, No.10, pp. 659-664, 2013 (in Japanese).
  13. [13] K. Goto and F. Okamoto, “Infectious Gastroenteritis Epidemics and Countermeasures for Infectious Diseases at Kumamoto Earthquake Evacuation Shelters,” J. of Infectious Diseases, Vol.91, No.5, pp. 790-795, 2017 (in Japanese).
  14. [14] E. L. Yee et al., “Widespread outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis among evacuees of Hurricane Katrina residing in a large ‘megashelter’ in Houston, Texas: Lessons learned for prevention,” Clinical Infectious Diseases, Vol.44, pp. 1032-1039, 2007.
  15. [15] K. Izumikawa, “Infection control after and during natural disaster,” Acute Medicine & Surgery, Vol.6, pp. 5-11, 2019.
  16. [16] T. Kawano, Y. Tsugawa, K. Nishiyama, H. Morita, O. Yamamura, and K. Hasegawa, “Shelter crowding and increased incidence of acute respiratory infection in evacuees following the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and tsunami,” Epidemiology and Infection, Vol.144, No.4, pp. 787-95, 2016.
  17. [17] I. Uckay, H. Sax, S. Harbarth, L. Bernard, and D. Pittet, “Multi-resistant infections in repatriated patients after natural disasters: lessons learned from the 2004 tsunami for hospital infection control,” J. of Hospital Infection, Vol.68, pp. 1-8, 2008.
  18. [18] S. Shinoda, “Special Issue on Infectious Disease Control of Natural Disasters,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.7, No.6, pp. 739-740, doi: 10.20965/jdr.2012.p0739, 2012.
  19. [19] M. Ishii, T. Nagata, and K. Aoki, “Japan Medical Association’s Actions in the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake,” World Medical & Health Policy, Vol.3, No.4, pp. 1-18, 2011.
  20. [20] H. Kawamura, K. Tokuda, M. Kawakami, T. Arimura, T. Kawaguchi, T. Matsui, and J. Nishi, “Support for Infection Control in Evacuation Centers Following 2016 Kumamoto Earthquakes by Kagoshima Prefecture Medical Association Team,” Japanese J. of Infection Prevention and Control, Vol.32, No.5, pp. 282-290, 2017 (in Japanese with English abstract).
  21. [21] K. Iwata, G. Ohji, H. Oka, Y. Takayama, T. Aoyagi, Y. Gu, M. Hatta, K. Tokuda, and M. Kaku, “Communicable Diseases After the Disasters: with the Special Reference to the Great East Japan Earthquake,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.7, No.6, pp. 746-753, doi: 10.20965/jdr.2012.p0746, 2012.
  22. [22] K. Kaku, “Preparedness for Natural Disaster-Associated Infections,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.4, No.5, pp. 337-345, doi: 10.20965/jdr.2009.p0337, 2009.
  23. [23] M. Ishii, “Activities of the Japan medical association team in response to the great East Japan earthquake,” Japan Medical Association J., Vol.55, No.5, pp. 362-367, 2012.
  24. [24] H. Kanamori, H. Kunishima, K. Tokuda, and M. Kaku, “Infection control campaign at evacuation centers in Miyagi prefecture after the Great East Japan Earthquake,” Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, Vol.32, No.8, pp. 824-826, 2011.
  25. [25] F. Kasuga, “Special Issue on Understanding Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.6, No.4, p. 371, doi: 10.20965/jdr.2011.p0371, 2011.
  26. [26] A. Kudo, S. Sakuma, K. Inatomi, M. Ikeda, and S. Nishina, “Local Government Awareness and Response to Infection Prevention in Natural Disasters,” Japanese J. of Infection Prevention and Control, Vol.27, No.3, pp. 171-177, 2012 (in Japanese with English abstract).
  27. [27] Statistics Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, “Statistics Bureau Homepage: Population Estimate,” (in Japanese) [accessed June 15, 2020]
  28. [28] Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), “Special website New coronavirus time series news,” (in Japanese) [accessed June 15, 20]
  29. [29] C. Ishigaki, “The three distant causes of Italy’s ‘collapse of medical care’ have come to light,” Ronza, Asahi Shimbun, April 5, 2020, (in Japanese) [accessed June 15, 2020]
  30. [30] “British Prime Minister Johnson discharged from new corona infection. Leadership after returning to be asked,” HUFFPOST, April 16, 2020, (in Japanese) [accessed June 15, 2020]
  31. [31] “Ken Shimura dies, the horror of the new corona is impressive,” NIKKEI, March 30, 2020, (in Japanese) [accessed June 15, 2020]
  32. [32] “Special circumstances of Westerners who clash with each other on ‘wearing a mask’,” Toyo Keizai Online, April 18, 2020, (in Japanese) [accessed June 15, 2020]
  33. [33] “Mask/disinfectant shortage why continue, ‘in-kind’ than government support,” Tokyo Newspaper, March 12, 2020, (in Japanese) [accessed June 15, 2020]
  34. [34] “Women’s housework and childcare ‘burden increased’: Shizuoka City Women’s Hall surveyed life with Corona, questions raised about bias at home,” Shizuoka Newspaper SBS, May 14, 2020, (in Japanese) [accessed June 15, 2020]
  35. [35] “Patience limit ‘Corona divorce’: Time together increased by self-quarantine ... Mismatch of values surfaced,” Chugoku Newspaper Digital, June 7, 2020, (in Japanese) [accessed June 15, 2020]
  36. [36] K. Tsuboi, “A Study on the Disaster Response to Life Reconstruction and Health Evaluation of Nishihara Village in the Kumamoto Earthquake,” Papers on Environmental Information Science, Vol.31, pp. 77-82, 2017 (in Japanese and English abstract).
  37. [37] J. Kendra, J. Rozdilsky, and D. A. McEntire, “Evacuating Large Urban Areas: Challenges for Emergency Management Policies and Concepts,” J. of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Vol.5, No.1, pp. 1-22, 2008.
  38. [38] Cabinet Office, “Manual for securing accommodation facilities for accommodation treatment for mildly ill persons with new coronavirus infection (1st edition),” April 23, 2020 (in Japanese).
  39. [39] I. Nakamura, “A Study on the Ideal Disaster Prevention System –Starting with the L’Aquila Earthquake in Italy–,” Matsuyama University Review, Vol.21, No.4, pp. 233-264, 2010 (in Japanese).
  40. [40] K. Harusawa, “Firefighting ‘Evacuation shelters, comparison with overseas’,” Science of firefighting and disaster prevention, Vol.135, pp. 7-12, 2019 (in Japanese).
  41. [41] K. Kouadio, T. Kamigaki, and H. Oshitani, “Strategies for Communicable Diseases Response After Disasters in Developing Countries,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.4, No.5, pp. 298-308, doi: 10.20965/jdr.2009.p0298, 2009.
  42. [42] Human and Disaster Prevention Future Center, “Preparation Checklist Ver.2 – Guide to Prevent Infection at Evacuation Centers,” DRI Special Issue, 2020 (in Japanese).
  43. [43] Japan Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (JVOAD), “New Coronavirus Evacuation Life Useful Support Book,” May 29, 2020 (in Japanese).
  44. [44] K. E. Rowan, “Why rules for risk communication are not enough – A problem-solving approach to risk communication,” Risk Analysis, Vol.14, No.3, pp. 365-374, 1994.
  45. [45] M. Honma, T. Katada, and T. Kuwasawa, “Study on Education Program Formulation Method According to Residents’ Level of Disaster Prevention Awareness,” City Planning Research and Lectures, Vol.37, No.257, 2008 (in Japanese).

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.

Last updated on Jul. 12, 2024