Earthquakes don’t exist in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but we can use it to explain how to keep safe in real life!

Fire departments are tasked with some of the most intense and brutal work imaginable, and they aren’t just limited to fighting fires. They’ll show up on the scene for all manner of disaster relief, and they have to know all sorts of super-effective moves to navigate through debris and save lives. But actually rescuing people from disaster is only half their task; it often falls to these departments to spread awareness programs so that we, the accident-prone public, know how to minimize harm in our own environments and don’t take up any more of their time than we do already.

One way to up your chances of surviving a severe earthquake is to know where to stand. Earthquake safety programs in Japan stress the importance of finding a sturdy piece of furniture to hide under, preferably away from any windows in case the glass is shattered. But what about the room you’re taking shelter in? The Tokyo Fire Department’s official twitter took a novel approach to spread effective earthquake advice:

▼ (translation below)

” [Take Another Look at this Room’s Layout]
According to a survey conducted at the Tokyo Fire Department, around 30 to 50 percent of injuries sustained during earthquakes are caused by falling or overturned furniture. One of the most important measures you can take to stay safe during an earthquake is by adjusting the orientation of your furniture like Atsuo does [in this video]. And please check out this other video we have, too!
#AnimalCrossing #DisasterproofIsle #FurnitureMoving”

Atsuo refers to the video’s Animal Crossing avatar, named after the official mascot of the Tokyo Fire Department. He’s clad in the blue uniform of male elementary school students involved in the BFC, a Fire Department-affiliated children’s organization similar to the Boy Scouts.

▼ Unfortunately, you can’t get a big fire helmet with gigantic antennae in Animal Crossing yet.

Atsuo looks around his room and immediately becomes distressed. This isn’t up to code at all! He quickly takes his water cooler — you know, something we all have in our bedrooms — and shoves it against the wall, then collects up a presumably heavy cardboard box stacked atop his wardrobe. One violent tremor would shunt that box and all its contents down onto any unsuspecting people below.

He finishes the video by pushing the wardrobe itself against the wall and then applauds himself for a job well done. Much safer! In the reply to the video, the department posted an image of their in-game creator’s code so young fire buffs can dress up in Atsuo’s snappy threads. The design pictured is the girls’ uniform, but the creator code will allow you access to all of their custom designs.

Commenters were, of course, delighted at this super-cute demonstration of earthquake safety:

“So you’re spreading awareness of disaster prevention through Animal Crossing? That’s so fresh, and it makes it really easy to understand!”
“The way you set the camera moving while the villager was walking around was really skillful, good job.”
“It warms my heart to see people using Animal Crossing for things like this. Please keep it up!”

The department has used their Animal Crossing account to this effect before, like in this tweet where they warn about the dangers of letting children play near windows or balconies.

Or this reminder to stave off heat stroke by staying hydrated, keeping cool and wearing a hat or other head covering.

There’s sadly no way to guarantee you won’t be harmed in a disaster, but taking these helpful and easy-to-understand steps will help lower the risk of falling prey to your own furniture. Make Isabelle proud and practice disaster safety in your own home!

Source, featured image: Twitter/@Tokyo_Fire_D
Top image: Pakutaso

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[ Read in Japanese ]