Some new vending machines in Japan are designed to hand out free drinks to all comers—but only in case of an emergency.

In the earthquake-prone country, specially marked vending machines currently being distributed to subway stations can be set to "emergency mode," in which they hand out free drinks to everyone.

It's a pretty great idea, as water is something that people need during a disaster and is just sitting in those vending machines. They've just got to make sure pranksters aren't able to turn free mode on when there isn't a disaster afoot. [Inventorspot via The Daily What]