Unprecedented, large-scale disasters are prone to occur frequently as generated by climate change and crustal movements i.e., earthquakes. For example, the huge earthquakes like the Great East Earthquake and Kumamoto Earthquake, and those related to the quake cluster occur continuously. In addition, volcanic eruption activity must be considered, and hereafter, it is necessary to have disaster prevention plan assuming a large-scale eruption of an active volcano e.g., as represented by Mt. Fuji. Moreover, natural disasters like the occurrence of large-scale slope collapse and debris flow, tornados and flash floods caused by torrential rain, are increasing. Taking all the possibilities of these occurrences into account, necessary countermeasures should be taken in order to build the safety and security of the society.
On the other hand, we also recognize that occurrence frequency of man-caused bombing terrorism accompanied by unstable politics or large-scale explosions at chemical plant factories, tends to increase. The frequency of explosion disasters like them is small, however, once it happens, it is accompanied by a massive explosion. It inflicts damage on people's lives and buildings over a wide area; furthermore, it creates a tremendous impact on society e.g., wholescale or partial suspension of social function.
It is necessary to formulate a detailed plan and to start training others in advance, in order to prevent damages from such large-scale disasters by man-caused and natural phenomena being too great. In this regard, however, it is not easy for local governments, that is the mainstream means of prevention and mitigation of disasters, to formulate the plan fully when considering the regional disaster characteristics independently. This is because of restrictions on human resources and budgets. In addition, it has been noted that mutual cooperation between local government and the SDF, Fire Service and police immediately after outbreak of disaster is extremely important. This is a key point of issue to be considered in advance when considering the regional disaster characteristics.
The researchers here attempt to approach the theme ‘Natural Disaster and Crisis Management’ in our own ways. In research of natural disasters, we attempt to elucidate characteristics of hazard (frequency of disaster scale) of natural disasters, especially the ones which occur frequently and tend to be larger in scale e.g., in recent years those such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, debris flows, tornados and others, and accidents caused by explosions. In addition, we work on proposals of disaster prevention structures and reinforcement methods, as well as others. This means working on developing so-called disaster prevention shelters and the evaluation method of fragility of structures against the disaster. Based upon these evaluations, the next step is an assessment regarding large-scale disasters' impacts on regions using a method of risk engineering. Moreover, we consider collecting information, proposing optimal evacuation routes and material support for law and order. We also consider the relation between disaster and economic loss, and other related issues in the event of a disaster. After these considerations, we evaluate social resilience in a comprehensive manner. We go through another evaluation (via a quantitative method) on disaster prevention planning which is considered characteristic of regions based on the above evaluations' benchmarks. Furthermore, we think about upgrading countermeasures against large-scale disasters beyond our assumed scope.