Special Feature 「Japanese Culture that Amazes the World」Vol.5. Preparing for Disasters

11/11/2016 (mm/dd/yyyy)



Even after living in Japan for a long time, there are still things that foreigners have questions about.
Please feel free to ask us for information about life in Japan.

Before a disaster occurs, let us think about the following, talk with family members and prepare.


A lot of earthquakes have occurred recently. In the Great Eastern Japan earthquake, there was an earthquake, tsunami and radioactive contamination. In the Kumamoto earthquake, strong earthquakes with intensity 7 were felt several times. Moreover, there are a lot of active faults that are not visible, and a lot of crevices form whenever an earthquake occurs. There is no safe place within Japan. For those who are planning to live in Japan for a long time or those who bought a house but could not move in, what should they do?


Make sure that furniture do not fall。
It is important to make our homes safe to prevent injuries. Secure the safe areas and exits.



Prepare a lot of emergency food and water supply. Prepare at least 7 days’ worth of supply.
If an earthquake occurs, water, electricity and gas services will be interrupted. Restoration of the utility services can take at least a month or even three months. We must think of how we can prepare food, use the toilet and take a shower during that time
People usually behave in the same manner whenever a disaster occurs. When a disaster occurs, most convenience stores and supermarkets will be closed. People would seek shelters in their friend’s house.




Talk with family members on how you can communicate with each other in the event of a disaster.
The location of family members will vary depending on the time the earthquake occurs.
Each one’s location will vary depending on the time of the day, so confirm each other’s location at certain times of the day. If the child is at school when an earthquake occurs, a family member must pick up the child. If a parent is unable to pick-up the child, decide on who will pick up. This should be communicated to the school.
Mobile phones and e-mails might be unusable during this time. In order to confirm the safety of each family member, decide beforehand on the family’s meeting place. Once the family members have gathered in the meeting place, decide whether the family will go to the evacuation center or remain in the family home. If you decide to remain in your home, notify your neighborhood association. Confirmation of everyone’s safety and distribution of emergency supply might occur.
In order not to be misled by false information, secure the accurate information from reliable sources such as television, radio and evacuation center. We do not know what will happen when a disaster occurs. Let us overcome the disaster by working together with our family, friends and neighbors



For more information, please read [Transportation] in the Lifestyle Guide section of our website.
Link: http://www.sir.or.jp/en/fls/useful/detail/id=124

September 2016 Takako Tomita