I watched a 1997 documentary on Tsunamis last night and not surprising Japan was a focus. Japan is no stranger to earthquakes and tsunamis. There was a portion where one area had built a 10 meter high seawall to keep out a tsunami. This was in Tarō, Miyako, Iwate Prefecture, Japan. It is on the Northeastern Coast of of Japan.
10 meters is about 32 feet. But the recent 15 meter tsunami exceeded that. Ironically the seawall essentially trapped the water and a whirlpool effect was formed dragging people, homes and property into it. Take a look at this video by Bill Schiller of Toronto's thestar.com.
This video and many of the other videos and images demonstrates the futility of the "preparedness" propaganda that the news media and "experts" are wailing about. No "emergency kit" prepares one for these acts of nature. Now having emergency plans, e.g., where to go, makes sense.
These events don't normally result in the number of deaths that are mounting in Japan. But deaths are not prevented by "emergency kits." And, I don't remember survivors of these catastrophic events attesting that their survival was the result of some "emergency kit."
And what makes the best sense is that governments have "preparedness" plans and that these are widely disseminated. Despite some grumbling, and excluding the reactor issues, the Japanese government appears to have had plans and the wherewithal to implement them.