Emergency Preparedness Basics


Earthquakes are a common occurence in Japan. We can't predict when and where an earthquake will happen, but if we are properly prepared for one, we can reduce the damage.

¡üEveryday Measures

£±- Check where the safest place in your house/apartment is.
2 - Store drinking water – 2-3 liters per person.
3 - Prepare a rucksack or emergency bag and store it in a place familiar to everyone in the family.
Example of items to put in the rucksack / emergency bag:
(a) torch light, (b) batteries, (c) drinking water and food, (d) money (including some 10 yen coins for using in a public telephone), (e) copies of identification materials such as passports and bankbooks, etc., and other valuables, (f) matches, lighter and candles, (g) a first-aid kit (those requiring regular medication should not forget it), (h) a helmet or other protective headwear, (i) cotton work gloves, socks and underwear, (j) heat insulating and waterproof blankets, (k) rope, etc.
4 - Use metal fittings to secure furniture and prevent it from falling over.
5 - Use shatter-prevention film on windows, cupboards, shelves, etc. where glass is used.
6 - Make a note of emergency contact telephone numbers and the phone number, address and other contact details of someone who can communicate in your language.
7 - Confirm where your nearest emergency shelter and hospital are and how to get there. Inquire at your city, ward, town or village office to confirm the whereabouts of your nearest emergency shelter.

¡üWhen an Earthquake happens

1- Ensure your personal safety and get to the nearest safe place.
2 - Switch off the gas, gas cookers, etc. in use. Switch off all appliances, such as cooking and heating appliances which may cause a fire. If a fire breaks out, extinguish it immediately with the nearest fire extinguisher.
3 - Open all doors including the front door to ensure an escape route.
4 - Try to listen regularly to the TV and radio or telephone for earthquake information.
5 - Do not rush out of a building. Wait until the earthquake has temporarily stopped, then get your emergency bag, put on a helmet or other protective head covering and make your way to an open space.
6 - Try not to become separated from family members or neighbors. Check you are all together and make your way as quickly as possible to a shelter.
7 - If you are driving, avoid breaking suddenly. Reduce your speed slowly and move over to the left shoulder of the road. Do not park the car next to a gasoline station or high-pressure gas facility, nor under a pedestrian bridge.
8 - If you are walking along a wide road, move out to the center. If downtown, be careful of falling objects such as signs, telegraph poles and glass from windows, etc.

¡üAfter an Earthquake

After an earthquake, there is the danger of yoshin (after-shocks) and tsunami (tidal-waves). If possible get accurate information from the radio, newspaper, television, etc. If you find you cannot return to your residence after a big earthquake, inform your country¡Çs embassy or consulate, your place of employment or school of the safety of both you and your family.

¡üSaigai-yo Dengon Dial (Telephone message service in times of disaster) (Tel. 117)

When a disaster occurs, it is often difficult to make telephone calls to the affected area. In such circumstances use the Saigai-yo Dengon Dail service (telephone message service in times of disaster). People outside the area can listen to recorded messages made by those in the affected area regarding their safety, etc. It is like a voice recorded message board. Similarly, people outside the area can send messages to people in the affected area.
Notification of the introduction of the NTT Saigai-yo Dengon Dial service will be made on the radio and television, etc. You use the service by dialing 117 and following the guidance in Japanese to record or listen to messages.

Typhoons and Floods

¡üBeing prepared for Typhoons and Floods

In Japan from summer through autumn, there are many typhoons that bring strong winds and torrential rain which can cause landslides and flood damage. To be prepared for such strong winds and floods, the following points should be given attention.
1 - Your residence should be fully inspected. In order to keep damage to a minimum, repairs and reinforcements should be carried out.
2 - Window glass, etc. should be reinforced with gummed tape or vinyl tape. If there are shutters, they should be closed.
3 - Boxes, flowerpots and other objects in the garden or on the balcony should be fastened or taken into the house to prevent them from being blown around by strong winds.
4 - Television antennas etc. should be reinforced with splints, wire, etc.
5 - Clear drains, shores and water tubs of any dirt and debris to ensure good drainage.
6 - If you live in a lowland area or in an area where flooding is possible, you should place furniture and electrical appliances as high as possible.
7 - In the event of a blackout (electric power failure), have a flashlight, portable radio, etc. in a set place familiar to each member of the family.
8 - Keep things you need to take with you in an emergency in a convenient place.
9 - Confirm where the nearest disaster shelter is and how to get there. Confirm whether or not your residence is in a safe district. Information can be found in the Kiken Kasho Zu (Danger Zones Map) at your city, ward, town or village office, fire department office or civil engineering department (names may vary depending on district) concerning the location of disaster shelters and the threat of heavy rain-induced landslides in certain areas.

¡üIf a typhoon comes

1 - Do not go out in strong winds. If you must go out, wear a helmet or thick hat.
2 - Do not go near fallen utility poles or sagging cables.
3 - Pay close attention to weather forecasts. If a warning to evacuate the area is given, evacuate as quickly as possible. Families with elderly or sick persons or infants should evacuate early.

¡üRisai Shomei-sho (Disaster Victim Certificate)

It is necessary to have a Risai Shomei-sho (Disaster Victim Certificate) when applying for tax deductions or a tax reprieve for victims of storms and floods.
Application forms for a Risai Shomei-sho may be obtained at each city, ward, town or village office or from a fire department.

2008Tokushima Prefecture