Useful Information

What should I do when an earthquake occurs?

What should I do when an earthquake occurs?

Japan has experienced many earthquakes. In 1995, The Great Hanshin earthquake occurred, and In 2011, The Tohoku earthquake and tsunami occurred. After that, There were big earthquakes in Kumamoto, Osaka, and Ishikawa. Today, I’ll explain what you should do when an earthquake occurs.

If an earthquake occurred

  • When you are inside of buildings

When an earthquake occurred, hide under the table, and wait until the shake is stopped. The table protects you from the books or plates falling from high space. When the shake is too big, please hold the legs of table so that the table do not move. Turn off the stove or gas fire AFTER the shaking is stopped. The most important thing is that you escape to a place where you are safe.

  • When you are outside

If an earthquake occurred when you are outside, please escape to a large place where there are no tall buildings or falling objects nearby, such as park with watching out for things falling from above and crumbling buildings. When you escape, please protect your head by bag or helmet. Please stay away from concrete block walls and vending machines because they tend to fall down. Please escape to a place which are far from mountains and cliffs because they are tend to collapse. After you can escape to the safe place, please squat down to prevent injury until the shake is stopped.

  • When you are driving a car

Please stop your car on the left side of the road and stop the engine. At that time, please do not lock the door and leave the key in the hook inside the car. This is because your car can be moved when an ambulance or a patrol car pass through the road. When an earthquake is occurred, roads collapse and cars are really stolen. Let’s cooperate to make sure cars can pass to help other people.

After the shake is stopped

  • When you are near the sea

After a big earthquake, TUNAMI may come. TUNAMI is very strong, and it can wash away houses and cars. If you are near the sea, you may be encountered to TUNAMI. Not to be encountered to TUNAMI, please escape to high place without valuables and food just after the shake is stopped. When you escape, please do not use cars and elevators. The roads may be crowded and you may be stuck inside the elevators, and you may leave behind.

  • When you escape from your house to outside

When the shake is stopped and escape to outside, please turn off the switch of the breaker, stove, and gas range. Power outages may occur when a big earthquake is occurred. If you do not turn off the switch of the breaker, your house may start fire when the electricity flows again. Also, if you leave the stove and gas range on, gas may leak or fire may break out and it is very dangerous.

  • If your house is so broken that it cannot be lived in

If your house is very broken and you cannot live or you feel fear to live there because of an earthquake, you can stay at an evacuation shelter for a while. If your house is not collapsed soon or TUNAMI does not come to your house, let’s bring food and clothes which use at the shelter. If you prepare a survival kit in advance, you can escape immediately.


If you want to know more about an evacuation shelter, please read this article

Evacuation Shelter

When you contact to your family or friends

After an earthquake, it will be difficult to connect to phone calls, emails, LINE, other social media, and messaging apps. This is because a lot of people want to contact each other, and base stations and cables are broken. When you send an email, short messages can be send such as “OK”, “Fine”, “Safe”. Let’s make your message as short as possible.

Also, Disaster Emergency Message Dial is available. Call 171 and you can record and listen messages. Some mobile phone carriers prepare disaster message board. You can write the message or record voice message. This message board is on the website. You can use it when you use your smartphone without Wi-Fi (with mobile data). Mobile phone company prepare other services for disaster. Let’s search them in advance!

When you go back home

After a big earthquake, trains and buses may be stopped. If trains and buses are stopped, and if you are coming to work or school from far away, consider waiting or staying at the company or school instead of going home. When the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami occurred, trains were stopped even in Tokyo and a lot of people spent several hours to go back to their house on foot.

  • Please also refer to the following page.

“Warnings” and “Advisories”

What to do in such cases? Number 119 and Number 110 

Evacuation Shelter