The purpose of the present study was to create a comprehensive list of earthquake evacuation procedures for university campuses. We also created materials designed to increase awareness of the psychological effects experienced by those on campus following an earthquake. In 2014, the Earthquake Research Committee reported greater than 26% chance of an earthquake, with a seismic intensity of 6.0 or more on the Richter scale, striking Tokyo and its surrounding areas within the next 30 years. Initially, our research found that 10 universities in Central Tokyo have manuals for disaster prevention and management. However, the majority did not appear to have an appropriate evacuation center management program following a large-magnitude earthquake.
Our first step was to create a list of procedures that would enable campus evacuation centers to help survivors for a seven-day period following an earthquake. Procedures following the first 30 min of an earthquake include collecting campus information, considering the environment on the campus, creating a list of students on the campus, and supporting the evacuees on the campus. Procedures that must be followed within the hours following an earthquake include managing food and water availability, preventing fire and crime, aiding other evacuation centers, and providing psychological aid to the survivors. In addition, students and faculty members should consider their possible roles in providing aid while still being flexible enough to adapt to changes in the situation.
Our next goal was to enhance the efficiency of evacuation center management through psychological training. For this purpose, an inventory was created focusing on four sections of psychology: clinical, social and disaster, memory and learning, and perceptual and cognitive psychology. The clinical psychology section consisted of 9 items and covered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), burnout, psychological first-aid, and perceived control. The social and disaster psychology section had 21 items that included the false consensus effect and the bystander effect. The memory and learning psychology section had 7 items, including flashbulb memory, false memory, and operant conditioning. The final section, perceptual and cognitive psychology, had 10 items related to negativity bias, human error, and risk-taking. An abbreviated version of this inventory may improve university members' understanding of psychology during a crisis.
Interactive risk communication during normal conditions among university authorities, faculty members, and students can greatly improve quick and efficient handling of large-magnitude earthquakes. In the present article, we urge university members to consider campus evacuation management from the point of view of risk communication, risk governance, and knowledge of psychological concepts.