P. 16
Immediately After
P. 18
Simulation of a
Major Earthquake
P. 40
Evacuation Life
Suppose an earthquake of an unprecedented
P. 54
scale directly hits Tokyo. What specific actions
should you take at that very moment? This chapter
provides simulations of possible dangers and
Rebuilding Your Life
appropriate actions you should take from the
P. 68
moment an earthquake occurs to your evacuation
and reconstruction of your life. Now imagine
yourself in these situations.
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
The Moment an Earthquake
Making the right decision is hard at the onset of
First, protect yourself
an earthquake
In a strong earthquake, you could be injured or killed if you are trapped under furniture
Among survivors of major earthquakes, there are some who say that the tremor fi rst felt
or hit in the head by falling objects such as glass from a broken window. While being
like a plane had crashed nearby, a factory had exploded, or a volcano had erupted. In
careful of what is happening around you, you should move quickly to a place where you
such a sudden situation, you fi nd it diffi cult to move or think, and it’s hard to make an
will be protected from falling objects or furniture and other heavy items toppling over or
appropriate decision. This makes it important to imagine what you should do. Prepare in
sliding into you. Give top priority to protecting yourself and your family. (Self-help)
advance by talking with your family, participating in fi re drills and disaster drills, and
other ways.
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Immediately after the
Wait until the tremor subsides
Secure an exit
Don’t rush out or you could be injured by falling objects, things toppling over or broken
After the shaking subsides, open the room’s window, door, and the front door to secure a
glass. Even after the shaking subsides, be careful not to be injured by scattered glass,
way out to allow you to evacuate at any time.
broken ceramic objects, and other hazardous objects.
Check for fire hazards
Stay clear ofglass or walls
If you are using an open flame, stay calm and turn it off after the shaking subsides. If a
If you are outdoors, you could be injured by falling roof tiles or broken glass, or be
fire breaks out, take initial measures to put it out.
Details → p. 188
trapped under a collapsed concrete wall.
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Dangers at Home
Living room and kitchen
If you are in the living room, you must be careful about being trapped under tall furniture
Once the tremor subsides, begin moving, wearing footgear like thick-soled
that has toppled over, or injured by broken glass from windows or lighting fixtures. If you
slippers to protect your feet. Secure an exit by opening the door. If you were
feel a tremor, take cover in a place where you will be protected from falling objects or
cooking, first protect yourself, and then after the shaking stops, calmly turn off
furniture and other heavy items toppling over or sliding into you. You should also watch
the flame.
out for things like large, heavy kitchen appliances such as refrigerators and microwave
ovens, as well as items flying out of shelves.
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Protect your head with items such as a pillow or bed quilt to avoid being directly hit
After the tremor subsides, put on thick-soled slippers and open the door to secure an
by broken window glass or falling ceiling lights, and move to a place where floor
exit. Have a flashlight ready for a possible power failure, so that you can move safely
lamps or dressing tables will not topple over on you. If you make it a habit to put your
even in the dark. Emergency lights that automatically turn on in the event of a blackout
glasses in an eyeglass case when you go to sleep, this can prevent them from breaking
are available at stores, so getting one for your bedroom might be a good idea.
and throwing you into a panic.
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Second floor
The first floor of an old structure could
collapse and crush you, so don’t rush to
the first floor. If you are in a building that
does not meet the earthquake resistance
standards, decide whether you should
escape outside according to the situation.
Details → p. 106
Shards of glass and other dangerous items on the floor
If you step on shattered glass, broken pieces of ceramic or other materials on the floor,
You might get trapped inside, so
you could be injured and become unable to walk. Put on thick-soled slippers and move
open the door when you feel a
to a safer place.
tremor. If possible, move to a safer
place, such as the hallway or front
entrance, so that you can quickly
The bathroom is a place where you can
easily get injured because you aren’t
wearing any clothing to protect you.
Cover your head with a washing basin or
If trapped
something to protect yourself from the
If you are trapped inside a room or unable to move, don’t keep on shouting as this
shattered glass of the mirror or light bulb,
could exhaust you and endanger your life. Instead, make large noises by, for instance,
and quickly get out of the bathroom and
using something solid to hit the door or walls to let others realize that you are in the
move to a safe place.
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Dangers Away from Home
At the office
Copy machines and other office furnishings on casters that have not been locked can move
Once the shaking has subsided and you are ready to evacuate, be sure to use the
around the room in an unpredictable manner. You could be severely injured if you are hit by
stairs because elevators could shut down from aftershocks and power failures. High-
one. You could even be killed if you are hit in the head by objects such as shards of broken
rise buildings shake for a longer period of time, and the higher you are in a building,
glass. While being careful of falling cabinets and shattered glass, you need to move to a safe
the more pronounced the shaking—so much so that you may not be able to remain
place to protect yourself from falling objects or furniture and other heavy items toppling over or
standing. Quickly find a safe place to take cover and wait for the shaking to stop.
sliding into you.
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Business and shopping districts
While protecting yourself from falling objects and debris, and watching out for
To protect yourself from flying shards of window glass and falling lighting
collapsing buildings, move to a safe place such as a park. If you are unable to flee to an
fixtures in the classroom, move away from windows, take cover under a desk,
open area, take refuge in a relatively new, reinforced concrete building that is seismic
hold on to the desk’s legs, and wait until the shaking subsides. If you’re in
resistant (see page 108). One of the scariest things that can happen in a crowd is the
the hall, quickly move away from windows, and on the stairs, grab hold of
eruption of panic. Remain calm, especially in areas where a lot of people are gathered.
the railing to avoid losing your balance and falling. When the shaking stops,
follow the instructions of the teachers and staff.
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Train stations
Inside the train
Protect yourself from falling objects and move to the nearest column so you don’t fall
Since trains will make an emergency stop when strong shaking is detected, you could
off the platform. If the platform is too crowded to move around, crouch down and wait
bump into someone or fall down. If you are seated, use your bag or something similar
for the shaking to subside. In subway stations, there is the danger of panic breaking
to protect your head. If standing, protect yourself by crouching to the ground. In a
out with people rushing to get above ground. Stay on the platform and never go on to
crowded train, firmly grab a handrail or strap, and keep your feet firmly planted on
the tracks. Follow the instructions of the station staff once the shaking has stopped.
the ground so you don’t fall over. Follow the instructions of the train crew once the
shaking has ended.
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
To avoid colliding with other vehicles,
As there is the danger of ceiling or
gradually reduce speed and bring the
wall collapse, if you are able to see the
car to a stop on the left side of the
tunnel exit ahead, leave the tunnel at a
road. There’s the possibility that the
reduced speed. If you are in a very long
expressway will be closed. Confirm the
tunnel, pull over to the left hand side and
situation over your car radio or other
stop the car. Leave the keys in the car
and evacuate from the tunnel using the
emergency exit.
In the car
Bridges and overpasses
Traffic restrictions on disaster
response routes
Suddenly lowering your speed could cause a collision. Turn on your hazard lights and
Since old bridges could collapse, if
gradually slow down. Stop your car on the left side of the road, turn off the engine,
Disaster response routes are roads
you were about to finish crossing the
designated for the smooth passage of
and wait for the shaking to stop. Move to a parking lot or open area if possible. When
bridge, reduce your speed and complete
emergency vehicles directly following
evacuating, leave your keys/smart keys in the car, and do not lock the car doors, so
the crossing. Since every bridge and
an earthquake. Become familiar with
that your car can be moved to let emergency vehicles pass. Leave a note with your
overpass shakes in a different way,
traffic restrictions that will take effect
contact information inside the car, and take any valuables and your car registration
gradually slow down, pull over to the
when a major earthquake strikes.
along with you when you go.
left side of the road, and stop the car.
Details → p. 280
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Department stores, supermarkets, convenience stores
Underground shopping areas
At department stores and supermarkets, watch out for items scattered across the floor
You could be injured if power failure causes the crowd to panic and stampede toward the
and broken product displays, and move near a stairway landing or support column. In
emergency exit. Remain calm and protect yourself from falling objects. Wait near a column
a convenience store, use a shopping basket, bag, or other item to protect yourself from
or wall until the shaking subsides.
falling objects.
Theaters, halls, stadiums
In facilities where a great number of people gather such as theaters,
Even in the event a major earthquake directly strikes Tokyo, airport terminals are not
halls, and stadiums, do not rush toward the emergency exit or stairs, but
expected to sustain serious damages such as building collapse. However, you should still
listen to the public address system and follow instructions given by the
be prepared to protect yourself from falling objects such as glass and ceiling components.
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
High-rise buildings
Mountainous areas
The higher the floor, the stronger the shaking will be. If you are a visitor in the
As there is the danger of being buried alive by a landslide in mountainous areas, you
building, remain in a public area such as the elevator hall, crouch close to the ground,
should immediately move away from slopes and cliffs. Also be aware that events such as
and listen for instructions over the public address system.
aftershocks and rainfall increase the risk of sediment disasters.
Details → p. 240
Details → p. 152
Islands and coastal areas
If you are in an elevator and feel an earthquake, press the button for every floor and
At the earliest, a large tsunami could reach the coastline within minutes. Call
get off on the first floor the elevator stops at. If you become trapped, use the intercom
out to those around you and promptly move to higher ground. If there is no
button to call for assistance.
higher ground in the area, evacuate to a location such as a tsunami evacuation
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Things Not to Do When an
Earthquake Occurs
Do not light a fire as there is the danger
Do not reset your circuit breaker to
Do not use the telephone for non-essential,
Do not walk barefoot indoors as you
of igniting natural gas, causing an
restore the flow of electricity as it could
non-emergency calls directly following an
could be injured from broken glass and
start a fire.
earthquake as this could overload telephone
other debris.
Do not touch light switches as there
Do not use elevators as there is the danger of
Do not engage in rescue activities alone.
Do not use a car to evacuate as it may
is the danger of sparking a fire or
getting trapped inside.
To reduce the risk of injury, work with
impede the passage of emergency
several people when attempting to rescue
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
*The following flow chart is an example of a two-stage evacuation. As the method of
Evacuation Flow Chart
evacuation will differ by municipality, please inquire at your local municipal office.
Damages are
Danger of fire
too great to
Danger of fire makes it impossible to go to the temporary evacuation area
live at home
Danger of fire. Instructions given
to evacuate.
Danger of fire. The
temporary evacuation
area is in danger.
No danger of fire. The
temporary evacuation
Danger of fire
What to wear when evacuating
area is safe.
- Helmet or protective hood
- Clothing that is easy to move in
- Comfortable shoes with thick soles
- Gloves
No danger
No damages
The right time to evacuate
Keep in mind that your decision on evacuation could be a matter of life or
If your home is safe, try to stay at home. If your family members have been
death. Don’t rely on others to make the decision on whether or not to evacuate,
separated, leave a memo at your home, use the disaster message services
but gather information from the radio, TV, and public authorities, and based on
provided by telephone companies, or other means of communication to set up
information that you have confirmed with your own eyes and ears, decide how
a meeting place.
to act using the above flow chart as reference.
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Decision to Evacuate
SNS such as Twitter and Facebook
are valuable sources of information.
However, during an emergency, false
rumors and information could also spread
through these sites. Don’t simply believe
such rumors. Make it a point to gather
correct information.
Confirm the safety of
your family
When a disaster breaks out, people are
too preoccupied with protecting their own
lives, and could fail to realize that their
own hands and feet are bleeding or that
someone around them is hurt. When the
shaking stops, family members who are
together should check among themselves
that they are not hurt and that the house is
not in danger.
Confirm the situation
inside and outside the
After confirming the situation of the members
Gather correct information
of your family who are with you, check the
After the shaking has stopped, you could be endangered if you act according to the
inside of the house. Confirm that all possible
wrong information. Before making a move, you need to gather proper information.
sources of fire have been turned off and that
Use a battery-powered (or rechargeable) radio that will work even if there’s a
there is an evacuation route. While listening
power failure, TV, smartphone radio/TV, websites of the fire department and public
to information over the radio and other media,
authorities, and other reliable sources to gather correct information.
visually inspect the situation around you.
Details → p. 270
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Indiscreet actions are
Rushing out of your house in a panic puts
you at risk of getting hurt by a falling
object. Stay calm and first confirm the
safety of your family and home. And
after doing so, confirm the situation
around you with your own eyes and ears,
such as if there are any dangerous objects
or buildings, or an outbreak of fire.
Confirm the safety of
After confirming your family’s safety,
direct your attention to your neighbors.
Check to see if anyone has been enclosed,
entrapped, or hurt, and whether there is
anyone who needs help in evacuating. In
times of emergency, it’s important to help
one another.
If you
re away from home, stay where you are if it is safe
Immediately after an earthquake, roads and the areas around stations become very
crowded, and there’s also the risk of being hurt or losing your life in secondary
disasters such as the outbreak of a large-scale fire or building collapse. If the safety
of your company or school has been confirmed, do not immediately leave for home,
but stay and wait and see how the situation progresses. Discuss beforehand with your
family about how to contact each other and what actions to take immediately after an
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
What to Do before Evacuating
Turn off the circuit breakers
Close the main gas valve
If one of the household items that have
If the gas pipe or gas appliances
fallen over is an electrical appliance that
are broken, a gas leak could cause
has its switch on, it could cause a fire
an explosion when gas is restored.
when power is restored.
Turn off possible sources of fire
In the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, about 10 percent of deaths were
due to fire. This shows how important first response fire extinguishing
Leave a memo
Using message boards and SNS
efforts are. If you discover a fire, and it is still small, use a fire
extinguisher or water to put it out. But in conducting such activities,
When evacuating your home, leave a
Prepare multiple means for contact under
remember that your safety comes first. If the situation seems dangerous,
memo with relevant information such as
the assumption that phones will not
such as with flames reaching the ceiling, stop trying to extinguish the fire
your safety and that of your family and
work. SNS will be useful, too.
and evacuate the area.
where you have evacuated to, and lock
Details →p. 188
your door when you leave.
Details → p. 128
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Important Points for Safe
Be careful about panic
Escape from smoke in a
in crowds
In crowded areas, actions such as
Smoke from a fire can be life threatening.
suddenly running have the danger
Try not to inhale the smoke when
of causing a panic and resulting in
escaping by covering your mouth and
accidents. In order to prevent mass
nose with something like a handkerchief
panic through the spread of false rumors
and crouching down as low as possible.
and information, take care to act in
If you are unable to see ahead because of
consideration of those around you.
the smoke, follow the wall to escape.
Move along the wall in
Before a tsunami
underground spaces
reaches the river
Underground shopping areas during a
Concerns about tsunamis are not just
power outage are one of the places at a
limited to areas near the ocean. Tsunamis
high risk of mass panic. As underground
also move upstream in rivers. Evacuate
shopping areas have emergency exits
immediately in a direction at a right angle
located every 60 meters, do not join
from the river.
everyone in rushing to one emergency
exit, but find another one close to you by
walking along the wall.
Evacuating from the
Know where the tsunami
apartment veranda
evacuation sites are
Verandas and balconies have panels
If you are near the ocean at the time
separating them from the unit next door.
of an earthquake, immediately move
These can be broken through during an
to nearby higher ground or a tsunami
emergency such as the outbreak of a fire,
evacuation building. If there are none,
to allow escape to the unit next door.
move to a higher building. At beaches
There are also evacuation hatches on the
with lifeguards, follow their instructions
floor equipped with ladders to escape to
and evacuate.
the unit below.
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Protect yourself from
What to be careful of
falling objects
when evacuating at night
In residential areas you could be hurt or
Because of low visibility when evacuating
killed by falling objects such as roof tiles,
at night, there are the risks of stumbling
the outdoor units of air conditioners,
or falling into roadside ditches. Be sure to
and planter boxes. In shopping and
take particular cautions, such as using wide
office districts, be cautious of falling
roads. Use a flashlight when evacuating
signboards, neon signs, and shards of
at night during a power failure, and move
carefully while visually confirming the
t touch power lines
Electricity could be flowing through
broken or sagging power lines, posing the
danger of electrocution. Do not go near
such lines and never touch one. The same
follows if trees or signs are touching the
power line.
What to be careful of
when evacuating during
the winter
Evacuation during the cold winter season
could affect your health. It is important to
take sufficient measures against the cold
to maintain your health. The use of space
Buildings with cracks
heaters in the wintertime also has the
are dangerous
danger of causing fires. Evacuate while
being careful of fires.
You could be hurt or killed by sections
of the outer wall or tiles falling from
buildings with cracks. If the pillars or
earthquake-resistant walls, which form
the basic structure of the building, are
cracked, the building could collapse. Do
not go near such buildings.
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Helping Each Other
t hesitate to
request cooperation
If a person who has collapsed doesn’t
respond to you, request cooperation from
those around you by calling for help in a
loud voice. If there is an AED (automated
external defibrillator) nearby, ask for
someone to bring it.
Details → p. 176
Tips to helping each other
If you discover someone trapped under
a pillar or beam, ask for the cooperation
of others around you to help rescue him.
Confirm whether he is still conscious,
and if so, it’s important to encourage
him. Using tools like a car jack could be
useful for rescue efforts.
Necessity of first-aid
In a large disaster, many people get
injured, but it could be imagined that
Helping each other
with difficulties in passing through roads,
the arrival of ambulances will be delayed
In the event of a major disaster such as an earthquake directly hitting the capital, the
full efforts of the residents are important to overcome the situation. Don’t just think
and may not be in time to provide
about yourself or your family, but cooperate with those around you and help as many
medical assistance. Learn how to treat
minor injuries.
people as possible. This concept of helping each other (mutual help) will help mitigate
Details →pp. 178-187
the damage of the earthquake.
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Staying at Home
Alternatives to gas,
electricity and water
It will be reassuring to have alternatives
to lifelines prepared. Have a portable gas
cooking stove to take the place of gas, and
battery-operated headlamps to substitute
for lights. For water, always have a lot of
water, such as bottled water, and confirm
where the nearby water supply point is
Preparations for food
and daily essentials
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has
designated November 19 as “Stockpiling
Day.” If you always maintain extra
supplies of food and daily essentials
and consume this “daily stockpile” in
your everyday lives, it would be easy to
continue having an emergency stockpile
of goods at home.
Details →pp. 85-87
Use of the sewer
Confirm if there is any sewer backflow and
if your home’s sewage facilities are broken
Recommending that you stay at home
or not. If the sewer system cannot be used
If you are able to continue living at home, it is recommended that you do not evacuate
with, for instance, sewage overflowing
to a shelter but stay at home. Life at an evacuation center negatively affects the
into the streets, use the portable emergency
health of some people due to reasons such as changes to their environment. Before an
toilet in your stockpile or toilets prepared
earthquake strikes, it would be important to retrofit your home against earthquakes,
by the authorities.
always keep a stock of necessary goods such as water and food, and be prepared to
stay at home to all possible extent.
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Evacuation Center
Process of opening an evacuation center (example)
The following is an example of the process taken to open an evacuation center.
Normally, the facility is unlocked by the facility’s manager and preparations are
begun for its opening. However, at the onset of a disaster, the manager could be late in
arriving because he himself was caught up in the disaster. It could thus be possible that
the evacuees themselves have to prepare for the opening of the shelter.
1 Preparation to receive evacuees
The lock is opened, and preparations to receive evacuees
begin. Confirmation of safety within and around the facility
is made, such as confirming firefighting facilities and
whether a means of communication can be secured.
2 Preparing the layout
Discussions are held on what to install where, and matters
such as the layout of the living space. An environment
where people can live is prepared.
3 Establishing a reception desk
Evacuees are guided from the temporary evacuation area to
What is an evacuation center?
the evacuation center, and registration begins. A name list
is prepared to grasp the situation of the local victims of the
An evacuation center is a place that temporarily takes in and protects people who cannot
disaster, including the evacuees and those needing care.
continue to live in their homes. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has about 3,000
evacuation centers comprising schools, community centers and other public facilities, and
about 1,200 secondary evacuation centers (welfare evacuation centers) that accept people
who would have difficulty living in a regular emergency shelter and need special care.
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Guide to Evacuation Life
After arriving at the evacuation center (example)
The following is an example of what evacuees do after arriving at the evacuation
center. Please note that the process and rules differ from shelter to shelter. It is
important to uphold the rules in evacuation center operation and life. For evacuees to
help each other and cooperate is indispensable.
1 Giving your contact information
After arriving at the evacuation center, give your address,
name, and contact information, and you will be grouped
with neighbors or by neighborhood association. Evacuees
who are stranded commuters or others having difficulty
returning home give this information.
2 Confirming the safety of family members,
Confirm the safety of family members and neighbors. So
that those with hearing impairments can also understand
the information, write out the information on cardboard,
3 Role sharing
Carry out the duties allotted to you such as helping out at the
Rules and manners at the evacuation center
registration desk or cooking. There are many things that need
to be done by cooperating with each other.
Evacuees should uphold the rules of life at an evacuation center and help each other
by sharing duties to the extent possible. Entering or scrutinizing the living space of
a fellow evacuee, speaking in a loud voice, and smoking in non-designated areas go
against manners. Consideration toward those who need care is also necessary at an
evacuation center.
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
The Dos and Don'ts at an
Evacuation Center
Maintain privacy
Securing water
Each residential space is the same as a house. Be sure to uphold each other’s privacy
When tap water is unavailable, follow the instructions of the facility’s manager and
by being especially considerate toward households with women, infants, and small
secure drinking water and water for domestic use. If you are using well water as
children, and those who need special care.
drinking water, always filter and then boil it.
Details → p. 212
Details → p. 199
Use of the toilet
Crime prevention
A large number of people use the facility’s toilets, and they may become clogged with
An evacuation center does not provide a perfect residential environment. Keep in mind that
toilet paper. Use the toilets in the manner instructed by the facility.
you have to protect yourself, and if you see someone acting suspiciously, contact the police
Details → p. 200
or facility staff.
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Take care of your health
Smoking rules
The drastic change of environment could negatively affect your health. Be sure to take
Be sure to follow the center’s rules on smoking so that you don’t bother those
measures to care for your health. Drink enough water during the summer, and keep
around you, and to prevent passive smoking and the outbreak of fires.
warm during the winter.
Details → pp. 192-195, p. 197
Maintain sanitation
No shoes should be worn inside the facility. Divide the space into passageways and places
If you own a pet, you should follow the center’s rules and be responsible in looking
where the futon mats are laid out. Decide on a place to put rubbish, and be sure to tightly
after your pet.
close the garbage bags to prevent the outbreak of flies and cockroaches.
Details → pp. 204-205
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Prevention of
Distribution of relief
infectious diseases
Don’t be impatient and calmly wait for
Common colds, influenza, and other
your turn to come. Depending on the
contagious diseases can easily break out.
situation, a single person’s share of food
It is recommended that you wash your
and relief may have to be shared with
hands and gargle frequently. When no
other people. Consideration toward those
water is coming out of the taps, it would
who need special care and cannot line up
be reassuring if you could have ethanol
is also important.
ready as a disinfectant.
Sleep and turning off the
Sanitation in cooking
There are many things about living
in an evacuation center that you are
not used to, and because of this,
Wash your hands carefully with soap
people often do not sleep well and
before cooking or arranging food,
consequently become ill. There are
touching ingredients, and after using the
those who cannot sleep when the
toilet. Cooking utensils should also be
lights are on, and those who cannot
washed and disinfected after each use.
sleep when it’s dark. One option
Details → pp. 208-211
would be to turn the lights off every
other day.
Details → p. 206
Prevention of heat stroke
Prevention of food
Beware of heat stroke at an evacuation
Food poisoning can occur at any
center in the summer (especially children
time of the year. The best method
and senior citizens). Frequently replenish
to prevent this is to wash your
the water and salt lost by your body even
hands. You should also be careful
if you don’t feel thirsty, wear permeable
about the dishes you use. When
clothing that is absorbent and quick-
you are unable to use water, one
drying, and avoid the heat.
good method would be to serve
food on disposable containers that
Details → p. 197
have plastic wrap spread on them.
Details → pp. 223-224
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Consideration toward People
Who Need Special Care
People who need special care include expectant mothers, children, the elderly, foreign
nationals, and those with disabilities. Try to be considerate and supportive of such
people, including those who are wearing symbol marks such as Tokyo’s “Help Mark,”
which indicate that they have a disability that is not easily discernible.
Foreign nationals
At times, senior citizens may be
Because of differences in customs and
Women and expectant Children
inconvenienced but will not come
culture, and difficulty in understanding
Children rid themselves of stress by
Women have concerns such as where
out and say it. Try to speak to them
the language, non-Japanese people
playing. Secure a place and time where
they can change their clothes, and
frequently in a cheery manner to keep
may be feeling afraid. It’s important to
they can express their feelings and
mothers with infants are concerned
them from feeling alone or afraid.
provide them with proper information
become refreshed.
about breastfeeding their child. Women
through an interpreter or someone
who are pregnant or have just given
capable of speaking a foreign language.
birth also need consideration for their
Details → pp. 220-221
health and privacy.
Details → pp. 288-291
Details → pp. 202-203
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Returning to Daily Life
Moving into emergency
temporary housing
If you have lost your home, you can
move into emergency temporary housing
(for two years in principle; could possibly
be extended). Move from the evacuation
center to emergency temporary
housing, and start on the road to living
independently as soon as possible.
Details → p. 259
Moving to the home
of a relative or
Another option would be for you to
move into the home of a relative or
acquaintance. It would be important to
lighten the burden on them by stating that
Accepting death
you will only be there until you find a
With 19,225 fatalities in the Great East Japan Earthquake (as of March 1, 2015, Fire
new home.
and Disaster Management Agency) and 6,434 fatalities in the Great Hanshin-Awaji
Earthquake (as of May 19, 2006, FDMA), many people had to accept the death of an
acquaintance or loved one. In the event of an earthquake directly hitting Tokyo, it is
estimated that about 11,000 people will be killed and 210,000 injured.
Details → p. 250
Immediately After
Evacuation Life
Rebuilding Your Life
Starting to Rebuild Your Life
Reopening business
The central government and the
Tokyo Metropolitan Government have
various programs to support SMEs and
agriculture, forestry, and fishery operators
in reopening their business. Apply to your
Were you able to imagine the possible
municipality to receive such support.
dangers and actions you should take from
Details →p. 261
the onset of an earthquake to rebuilding
your life? It is important that you picture
this happening to you. What dangers lurk
in your home... in your office... at school?
Imagining these as specifically as possible
Working again
is your first step to disaster preparedness.
If you have lost your job due to the
Let's start now.
disaster, you can look for work at
Hello Work (Japanese government’s
employment service center) or receive
support such as skills training.
Details → p. 260
Returning to school
If you have financial problems due to the
disaster, or if your school was damaged,
you can receive an emergency scholarship
to pay for expenses related to going to
school or transferring schools.
Details → p. 260
Learning from the Experience of Survivors of
t give up. Miracles happen.
The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake
Fukuhiro Mizuguchi (resident of Kobe City / 60 years old at the time of
and the Great East Japan Earthquake
the disaster)
I was sleeping soundly in my bedroom on the first floor, when a large shaking woke
me up. The instant I realized that this was not the usual earthquake, I was trapped
under my house that had collapsed and a wardrobe that had toppled over. My wife was
No victims through an accurate decision to evacuate
not at home at that time and was safe, but I was buried alive. My head was not hit,
Toshiko Saito (resident of Ishinomaki City / 69 years old at the time of
and since there was a narrow space between me and the ceiling panel, I was able to
the disaster)
breathe, but I was not able to move at all.
At the time of the earthquake, I was on the board of our community association.
After a while, I had a loss of sensation in the lower half of my body, my whole body
Immediately after the earthquake, I followed our earthquake response manual and
felt like it was burning, my head hurt so much it felt like it was about to crack, my
checked my neighborhood to see if there was anyone who had not managed to escape.
eyeballs were about to pop out, and I was resigned to the fact that I was going to die
The ground floor of my house had been inundated with the tsunami, but the second
there. But then when I thought about my family, relatives, my aging parents who were
floor was usable, so I stayed at home and went to help out at the evacuation center
not living with me, and my workplace, I felt that I couldn’t just die like this, and even
during the daytime.
if I am going to die, I’m not going to give up until I do. I gathered all the energy I still
Our community association was made up of about 1,200 households and 3,000
had left and poked my finger out of the ceiling panel, and this finger hit someone’s
residents, and there were 30 board members. We not only participated in the city’s
hand. Just a few minutes more and I would have lost consciousness and died. I think
annual disaster drill, but also held our own drill, with neighbors actively socializing
this spirit of never giving up brought about this miracle.
with each other. Thanks to this, many of the residents knew what to do at the onset of
an earthquake and were able to accurately judge if it was necessary to evacuate, and
Thorough talks to resolve trouble
although there were some people who died at their place of work, no one died at home
Masanori Murakawa (resident of Kobe City / 50 years old at the time
due to the earthquake and tsunami.
of the disaster)
Through this experience, I became acutely aware of the fact that not only learning
From municipal housing that had tilted 30 degrees and was about to collapse, I
about disaster preparedness, but maintaining communication with your neighbors from
evacuated to the gymnasium of a junior high school along with my neighbors.
normal times are very important to protect lives and survive.
The most distressing things about evacuation life were troubles arising from
gossip and pets.
Because we were all under stress due to concerns about our future lives,
dissatisfaction with the current situation, and other matters, the atmosphere at
the center often became quite awkward, with suspicion begetting idle fears.
For instance, there was a lot of trouble when a rumor spread that the city had
granted a subsidy somewhere. Discussions were held every night to have
everyone wait until the city informs us of this, rather than be manipulated by
the rumors. It took one to two months for everyone to accept this.
Another problem was dogs. For the owner, a pet is a member of the family, but
we were opposed to having them inside because there were people who do not
like dogs, and also people who were ill. Thorough discussions were held on
this matter as well, and in the end it was agreed to have the owners keep the
Fishing boat, the Kyotoku Maru No. 18, left stranded in the city of Kesennuma,
dogs on a chain outside the center. Through this experience, I became aware of
Miyagi Prefecture, at the time of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Although there
the fact that thorough communication is essential to overcoming problems.
were calls to keep it as a symbol of the disaster, it was dismantled in October 2013.
©Nihon Bousai Kankyou/Kazuhiro Yamada
Children in high spirits lift the spirits of adults as well
You are responsible for protecting your life
Setsuko Higashida (resident of Kobe City / 58 years old at the time of
Yoko Yamada (resident of Ishinomaki City / 45 years old at the time of
the disaster)
the disaster)
My home was not damaged so I stayed at home and went to the evacuation center
On the day after the earthquake, I went from the evacuation center to the area near
to give support. There were about 20 to 30 children of kindergarten and elementary
my house. The tsunami had swept away the houses from where my home stood to the
school age. At first they were quiet and stayed close to their parents, but later they
seaside, and there were none left. I wasn’t able to see my house over the mountain of
started to run around and were scolded by the adults for being too noisy.
rubble, but I think it was also swept away. I realized that I wouldn’t be able to move
On the third day after the earthquake, teachers came to confirm that the children were
forward unless I accept this. That was the start of my life at the evacuation center.
safe, and it was decided to let them play at the school. After playing at the school for
At first, there was hardly any support, and I was resigned to the fact that I would have
an hour or so, the children came back in good spirits. And after a while, the 5th and
to do whatever I was able to do by myself. A local nurse came to the evacuation center
6th graders started to help by, for instance, taking down the names of visitors and
as a volunteer. When I discussed the situation of my brother who was on dialysis, I
distributing boxed lunches. Children taking the initiative to find roles that they can
was asked to help the nurse with people among the 2,000 some evacuees, who had
serve and becoming revitalized by working for the sake of others, revitalized the adults
become ill or had disabilities, and with first-aid for people living near the evacuation
as well.
center who fell ill.
But mental care for the children is also essential. If an adult who is close to them
Through my participation in this harsh environment where people’s lives are at stake,
stays nearby and shows understanding toward what the children are saying, they will
I learned that I should say “no,” when I myself was unable at that moment to respond
calm down. In order for children to survive the earthquake, it would be important for
or did not know the answer to questions from the evacuees. In an emergency, to give
parents and children to promise to “protect themselves by themselves.”
people expectations to no avail will just invite confusion. I realized that when an
earthquake strikes, it would be difficult to protect yourself and survive unless you do
whatever you can do by yourself.
The experience fundamentally changed in my life
Hideki Taga (resident of Tokyo / 27 years old at the time of the
Right after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, the phones weren’t working,
and with no information coming in, I was forced to decide what to do by
relying on the words of other survivors. Hearing the voices of people trapped
under buildings calling for help and seeing people who were crushed as I
moved toward safety, I felt that life as I knew it was falling apart.
Patients that I had seen as a graduate student in clinical psychology who had
Ms. Higashida’s son’s home, which collapsed during the Great
said they wanted to do die, survived, and in the earthquake, people who wanted
Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake (her son was rescued). © Setsuko
to live, had died. This experience made me want to go into work that keeps
people alive and supports their lives. Following this, I entered a nursing school
and became a nurse. The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake fundamentally
changed my life.
Mental care for children
Disaster Preparedness Quiz
Maiko Fujita (resident of Tokyo / 7 years old at the time of the disaster)
I was 7 years old at the time of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. I remember that
it took quite a long time for me to understand that an earthquake had struck. I was
What should be the first thing you do when you feel the tremors of an
startled by the large shaking, and living at home after that was also quite difficult.
Somehow, it just didn’t seem real. But then I saw a district that was hit especially
Answer → p. 17
badly. The sight of the expanse of burnt ruins from the train window is something that
What should you do if you are using something with a flame when the
I will probably vividly remember forever. This was one month after the earthquake
earthquake strikes?
struck, but I was very shocked by how bad the situation was. I think it was then that I
Answer → p. 18
finally realized that my town had been destroyed.
Since then, I didn’t want to talk about that time or look at pictures, and it took quite a
What should you do if you are trapped in your room and/or cannot move due to the
long time for me to accept what had happened to me. Children have to become adults
while holding such experiences. I think it is important to not only teach them about
Answer → p. 25
how formidable an earthquake is, but to have them become capable of overcoming the
What should you do if an earthquake strikes when you are at school?
Answer → p. 29
Harsh life at the evacuation center spent with my young children
What shouldn’t you do right after the tremors subside?
Aoi Kimura (resident of Higashimatsushima City / 26 years old at the
Answer → p. 38
time of the disaster)
I spent one week at the evacuation center with my sons, ages 5 and 6, and my
What should you do before evacuating?
6-month-old daughter, who was just about to start eating baby food. The junior high
Answer → p. 46
school gymnasium that we evacuated to was not a designated evacuation center and
so it didn’t have any stockpiles. We had to try to stay warm with just the clothes we
What should you be cautious of when evacuating?
were wearing. And since my daughter was about to switch to baby food, I was not
producing much milk, and so in place of baby food, I had to give her the food rations
Answer → p. 48
that were distributed starting the next day. Life at the evacuation center was stressful
for the boys. People would look obviously annoyed when my daughter cried just a
When you see a fire, how should you escape and in what direction?
little or if my sons shouted and ran around, so I spent much of my time apologizing.
Answer → p. 49
There were people who helped us, but my sons were getting frustrated, and I was
getting mentally exhausted. I was finally able to get rid of this stress when we returned
What word do we use to mean helping each other to overcome the
to our house although the power and water supply lines had not yet been restored.
I had never even considered carrying around emergency goods with me when going
Answer → p. 52
out with my children. It would have made life at the evacuation center so much easier
if I had a bib for the baby, wet wipes to use as baby wipes or to clean their hands, a
Who are “people who need special care”?
portable flashlight, and other such items. I now carry these things around with me at
Answer → p. 66
all times, and live with a heightened awareness of disaster preparedness.
10 Key Points to Observe
When an Earthquake Strikes
During the earthquake
After the Earthquake
Earthquake! First, protect yourself
Details →pp. 17, 20-23
Fire and tsunami: safe evacuation
Details → pp. 40, 48-51
When you feel a tremor or receive an earthquake early warning, first, protect
If your area is in danger of a large-scale fire, and you feel endangered, evacuate
to a temporary evacuation area or evacuation area.
Hide under a sturdy table or a place where you will be protected from falling
If you are near the ocean and feel a large tremor or if a tsunami alert has been
objects or furniture and other heavy items toppling over or sliding into you, and
issued, quickly evacuate to a safe place such as high ground.
wait for the shaking to subside.
Correct information and proper actions
Details → p. 42
Points to heed on high floors(from about the 10th floor and up)
Details → p. 36
Gather correct information from the radio, TV, fire department, and the
On high floors, the swaying could last for several minutes.
In addition to causing objects to fall or furniture, etc., to topple over, the
large, slow swaying could cause them to slide a large distance.
Confirm the safety of your family and neighbors Details → p. 44
After confirming the safety of your family, check if your neighbors are safe.
Immediately after the earthquake
Cooperate with each other for rescue and relief
Details → p. 53
Stay calm and check possible sources of fire. Take first
Neighbors should cooperate in rescuing and providing relief to people
response fire extinguishing measures if necessaryDetails → p. 18
who have been trapped under collapsed houses or furniture.
If you are using an open flame, stay calm and turn it off after the shaking
If a fire breaks out, act calmly and put it out.
Before evacuating, check your electricity and gas Details → p. 47
If you need to evacuate, turn off the circuit breakers and close the main gas valve
Hasty actions could cause injuries
Details → p. 18
before evacuating.
Be careful of fallen objects, furniture, etc., that has toppled over, and broken
glass inside the room.
Don’t rush out or you could be injured by falling tiles, broken window glass, and
Open the window or door, and secure an exit
Details → p. 19
After the shaking has subsided, secure an exit for evacuation.
Stay clear of gates or walls
Details → p. 19
If you feel the tremor while outside, stay clear of concrete block walls and other
things that could collapse.