Preparation for an Earthquake

As you may know, there are many earthquakes in Japan. The reason is that Japan is located on four tectonic plates. Of course, the government is focusing on earthquake countermeasures. A great deal of effort has been put into seismic technology in Japanese buildings, and most Japanese have participated in evacuation drills every year since elementary school. If people living in areas with few earthquakes come to Japan, it is strongly recommended to get information about earthquakes.

Japan Meteorological Agency seismic intensity scale

In Japan, the strength of an earthquake is often expressed as “震度 (Shindo = Seismic Intensity)”, which is a Japanese unique indicator. The shindo is set to 10 levels of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 weak, 5 strong, 6 weak, 6 strong, and 7 depending on the strength of shaking. The state of each shindo is as follows. Personally, I feel dangerous when the shindo exceeds 4.

Shindo The situation of shaking
0 People can’t feel shaking.
1 People who are quiet indoors may feel shaking.
2 Most people indoors feel shaking.
3 Most people feel shaking.
4 An unbalanced ornament falls down. Most sleeping people wake up.
5 weak Unfixed furniture falls down. Shelf tableware and books fall. Most people are terrified.
5 strong Unreinforced concrete-block walls can break. It’s difficult to move without holding to something.
6 weak It becomes difficult to stand. The door may not open. Window glass may break.
6 strong It becomes difficult to move. Cracks and landslides may occur.
7 I can’t move freely. Furniture moves with shaking. The city function is paralyzed.

Earthquake Early Warning

This is a system that issues an alarm after an earthquake, but before a large shake arrives. In Japan, seismometers are installed in various places, and when a large shake is observed, a warning is promptly transmitted to the surrounding area. Alarms are issued through various media such as TVs and smartphones. (However, due to technical limitations, unfortunately alarms may not be in time or there are false alarms.) If you hear an alarm, be prepared for a big shake. The important thing is not to panic.

In the case of indoor

Please do not go out forcibly. Basically, protect your head. If there is a desk nearby, dive under it. If you are sleeping, cover your head with pillow or bedclothes. Other than that, you can use cushions or bags to protect your head.

If you are in a small room (toilet, bath, etc.), open the door. The door may be distorted and cannot be opened.

If you are using fire, for example during cooking, turn it off if you can afford it, but do not force it off. In the past, people were told to extinguish fire when an earthquake occurred, but recently there are many systems that automatically extinguish the fire. If you try to force it off, there is a risk of burns.

In the case of outdoor

In the town, something may fall from above. Protect your head as you would indoors. If there is a bag at hand, protect your head with it.

Keep the concrete-block walls away as it can collapse.

Enter the building if it is nearby. The inside is safer.

If you are near a mountain or cliff, they can collapse, so keep away.

If you are in an elevator, press the button on the nearest floor and get off the floor where the door is open. There is a possibility of being trapped.

If you are on a train or bus, hold it tightly on a strap or handrail.

If you are driving a car, do not stop suddenly. There is a risk of a rear-end collision. Slowly slow down and stop on the left side of the road.

Watch out for the tsunami ( In the case at the beach).

One of the most terrible secondary disasters caused by earthquakes is the tsunami. If you have a big earthquake when you are near the coast, immediately leave the waterside and evacuate to a hill or high place. Tsunamis occur repeatedly with the first and second waves. Never go back to the shore once the waves have struck.

What to do after the shaking has subsided.

After a big earthquake has occurred and the shaking has subsided, first check yourself. Check for any injuries. Next, check the surroundings. Be careful not to get injured if glass fragments are scattered. You might think it is natural, but when you panic, it is easy to overlook. Also make sure that no one is trapped around you. It’s good to call out. Conversely, when you are locked up, speak out and tell where you are.

Next, check the fire source. Turn off the stove and unplug it. If it is a small fire, use a fire extinguisher to extinguish it. Fire trucks may not be able to run immediately after the earthquake.

After confirming the surrounding situation, move to the evacuation site. Parks, schools, and city halls are often set as evacuation sites. If you are staying in Japan for a long time, you should check the evacuation site in advance. The evacuation site can also be confirmed from the Yahoo website. Please check the evacuation site near where you live.



Don’t move by car after the earthquake.

Because the road is damaged and the traffic lights are not functioned, you are probably stuck. But if you are in an earthquake while driving, don’t leave your car there. Many people are expected to be injured after the earthquake. Move it to a place where it does not get in the way when an ambulance or fire truck passes. And please leave the key. This is because the car may be moved for emergency vehicles. Of course, take your valuables and automobile inspection certificate.

We don’t know when the earthquake will occur. It is important to be prepared in advance and act calmly in case of emergency.


Thanks for the lots of comments. I’m sorry I can’t reply to all of them, but I read all the messages. They cheer me up. I will refrain from publishing comments because I receive more comments than I expected. I’m really sorry but I’m really happy. Responses to some comments have been compiled into my profile. I will add more as needed.⇒My Profile
If you have a request what you want to know about Japan, please let me know by the comments. And I would be happy if you could share my blog.

Liveslatest articles