【23】 Becoming a Volunteer
The aged, the disabled, the injured, pregnant women, babies, and foreigners have been identified as individuals who may require special assistance after a disaster. Many municipalities run a Disaster Volunteer Center staffed by people who can provide assistance to those – including foreigners – who are in need, (to the extent this does not impinge upon their own safety and evacuation needs). These volunteers participate in setting up and running shelters, the distribution of food and water, and provision of translation/interpreting services.
Registering as a VolunteerAnyone who can speak conversational Japanese with no difficulty is encouraged to register with the Kochi International Association as a Language Volunteer. Registration is of course free. After volunteers are given initial training, they are asked to provide translation/interpreting services when a disaster strikes, to participate in ongoing disaster prevention drills aimed at foreigners, and also to undertake ongoing translation/interpreting training. They are also asked to respond to requests from other prefectures to provide interpreting assistance in times of calamity outside of Kochi.