Disaster Survivor, Tōhoku earthquake
Tokyo, Japan, April 2011

Judy was in Tokyo, riding the train to the airport, when the 8.9 Tōhoku earthquake struck. Her immediate reaction was simple: to reach out to her digital networks, and let them know what was happening.

I totally was surprised that I had connectivity right after the earthquake. I immediately tweeted, Facebook posted, and texted my fiancé.

What are my networks?

An assortment of basic supplies are laid out on a table, such as articles of clothing, non-perishable food, a can opener, water, and flashlight

“My online community was helpful, but having those people around you think about emergency preparation and supplies is also important. If and when a disaster happens, if we’re all somewhat prepared, we can support each other.”

A tablet with a hand hovering over the home button has an array of icons displayed on the screen

“I was by myself and it was nice being on my phone and knowing that people were thinking of me, and I could communicate. If I didn’t have all those emails going back and forth, I would have felt really isolated.”

Similar to Judy