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Natural Disaster

You should prepare for natural disasters when you live in Japan. Earthquakes and typhoons occur frequently in Japan. The followings are guidelines on how to prepare for those disasters.


During an earthquake, please…

  1. Hide under a desk or table and wait until the quake stops.
  2. If you are cooking, shut the stove or oven off. If it is difficult to do so because of a big quake, turn the stove or oven off when the quake stops. (Turn off the stove or oven whenever you leave your kitchen while cooking at all times.)
  3. When the quake stops, open any doors that are closed. Sometimes doors are stuck by earthquakes and cannot be opened later.)
  4. Wear shoes or slippers to avoid injuries from broken objects.
  5. If a fire breaks out, try to extinguish it. If the fire spreads or gets out of control, leave your house and call 119 for the fire department.
  6. If you think it is dangerous to stay inside your house, evacuate to a safer place. If there are any family members who are away from home, leave a message for them to read when they come home.

Earthquake preparedness

  1. Always keep enough water and food that requires no preparation (such as dry bread, canned food and snacks) for three days in your home. Also keep the following things so that you can take them at any time.
    First-aid kit, Radio, Helmet, Flashlight, Gloves, Blanket, Knife, Can Opener, Passport, Residence Card, Cash, Stamp (hanko), Bank book, Health Insurance Card, Shoes
  2. Talk with your family about an evacuation place, and how to contact each other if you cannot use phone.
  3. Prevent injuries by fixing tall furniture to the walls so that it will not fall down in the event of an earthquake, and by putting a seal on the window so that broken glass will not scatter if the window is broken. You can purchase necessary tools at DIY Stores. If you live in rental housing, ask for permission from your landlord beforehand.


Many typhoons hit Japan from the end of summer until fall. Strong winds sometimes destroy houses and cause injuries. Heavy rain causes flooding in rare cases. Water and electricity supplies are also sometimes damaged. Please check the weather forecast regularly and prepare for typhoons in the following ways.

When a typhoon is coming…

  1. Put flowerpots, bicycles, laundry poles, and all other belongings that are usually outside inside your house. Do not leave things outside that may be affected by strong winds.
  2. Put seals and tape on the window so that broken glass will not scatter if the window is broken.
  3. Keep a flashlight or a lantern at home to prepare for a blackout. (Please do not use candles to prevent a fire.)
  4. Fill the bathtub with water for use if your water supply is cut off. Also prepare food and water.
  5. Do not go outside when the wind is strong. Even if the wind seems to have stopped temporarily, it may become strong again later. Check the location of the typhoon by radio or TV, and stay indoors until the typhoon passes completely.