emergency

Japanese man goes missing at sea for 20 hours, then gets rescued by a lucky lifebelt

While there’s nothing quite like a dip in the ocean on a hot summer day, this man’s quick swim-turned missing person’s case will serve as a great reminder why you should always be careful in Mother Nature’s swimming pool.

Earlier this week, a 29-year-old man from the city of Kobe was enjoying some sea-side bathing with his friends when a strong wind came, sweeping him far from the coast. His friends acted quickly, called the local police and a search ensued for 20 hours until the missing man turned up on a beach 40 kilometers to the south thanks to an incredibly lucky discovery.

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Not so fun in the sun – Cases of heatstroke hit a year-high last week in Japan

The end of July has brought soaring temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) to certain parts of Japan. As we saw this past weekend, the oppressive heat was even enough to make Tokyo Disneyland look almost deserted, an unheard-of feat.

While your first temptation may be to cool off at the beach, remember to take precautionary safety measures anytime you’re under the sun–last week also saw the highest number of cases of heatstroke in Japan this year-to-date.  

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Japanese train seats are cooler than you think

Everyone knows that in case of an emergency, inflatable slides pop out from the exits of an airplane, enabling passengers to quickly and safely exit from the craft. But what about trains? Sure, walking on and off the platform is easy, but what if the train makes an abrupt stop and you’re staring at a four-foot drop to the ground? If you find yourself in Japan, you’ll be able to use the very seat you’re sitting on to make a swift escape.

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From Pool to Glass in One Hour: Smart Gadget Provides Clean Drinking Water in an Emergency

While I was fortunate to have been inland and more than 60km away from the Fukushima power plant when it ruptured, on 3 March, 2011, my co-workers and I nevertheless started to get a little anxious when, just a few hours after the initial earthquake hit north-east Japan, our water supply went off.

Heading to the nearest supermarket in search of bottled water, we were met by the sight of hundreds of locals who had had the exact same idea: buy as many provisions as possible and get back indoors. By the time we found a place to park and got into the store, there was barely anything left on the shelves; it had all been snapped up by (understandably) panicked buyers. Deciding to try our luck at the local convenience store, we drove over to 7-Eleven, but found the shelves just as bare.

Although our sitation never got anywhere close to desperate, and our supply came back on about 24 hours later, the thought of  not having any clean, safe drinking water really struck home for a while there.

Until it suddenly becomes unavailable, water is something that we all take for granted on a daily basis. Turn the tap and fill up a glass, fill the kettle and make a coffee, jump in the shower, wash your clothes; we use it almost constantly and can’t get by without it.

So it comes as something of a relief to hear that there are clever people out there creating devices that can do something as unfathomable as turn chemical-filled pool water into something that’s safe to drink in an emergency…

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