Disaster Prevention (Earthquakes, Fire Prevention, etc.)
The Great East Japan Earthquakes is perhaps the best known of major earthquakes to hit Japan in the recent past. Residents of Japan should keep themselves informed of the latest evacuation instructions and be prepared for natural disasters.
NHK (Nippon Hoso Kyokai, or the Japan Broadcasting Corporation) provides warnings of major natural disasters and advice in their aftermath in English as a sub-sound channel on television and on Radio Station No. 2 (693 KHz).
Preparing for Earthquakes
To keep damage from earthquakes to a minimum, it is important to be prepared:
- Secure furniture that may topple over easily, such as drawers and bookshelves, with braces. Do not leave items in high places.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy and make sure that you are aware of the location of the nearest fire extinguisher.
- Prepare an emergency backpack (with such items as first-aid equipment, daily sundries, and valuables). In particular, be prepared to take your passport, residence card, and health insurance card with you in cases where it becomes necessary to evacuate.
- Participate actively in disaster prevention drills conducted in your local community.
- If you live with family, make sure to know each other’s telephone numbers and decide in advance where you should meet after a major disaster.
When an Earthquake Strikes
Even the most violent of tremors lasts for only about one or two minutes with any aftershocks generally being weaker. When an earthquake strikes, remember the following points so that secondary disasters, such as fires and serious injuries, do not occur.
- Turn off all possible sources of fire (gas equipment, electric appliances, etc.).
- Open a door or window to secure an exit. Do not rush outside in a panic because there is danger of falling items, such as falling billboards.
- Protect yourself by crawling under a sturdy table or desk or some other item of furniture.
- Obtain accurate information from such sources as TV or radio.
- Check on the safety of your neighbors and assist them if you can.
- If you are outdoors, avoid going near objects that may collapse (walls, gate posts, etc.).
Please note that the evacuation sites on campus are as follows:
- East Campus: Main gate north side plaza (roundabout) and Health Care Center north side plaza.
- West Campus: Near the tennis courts.
Please be sure to check the location of the nearest evacuation site to you in the neighborhood where you live.
Items to Have on Hand in Case of Disaster
- Passport and Residence card
- Health insurance card
- Mineral water and Preserved foods
- Flashlight and A portable radio
- Medicine and Medical masks
- Sturdy gloves
- Disposable pocket warmers
- Towels and Tissues
- A lighter/Matches and Candles
- Paper cups and Paper plates
Because many of the houses in Japan are made of material that easily burns, you must be very careful to prevent fires. Please be particularly careful about extinguishing all possible sources of fire, such as heating equipment, cigarettes, and gas, when you leave your home or go to sleep.
What to Do if a Fire Breaks Out
- Dial 119 for the fire department; alert your neighbors and ask for help in extinguishing the fire.
- If it is possible to extinguish the fire within the first few minutes after it has broken out, you should attempt to do so. If, however, the fire has spread over a wide area or reached as high as the ceiling, you should focus your attention on escaping rather than working to put out the fire.
- If a pan with oil in it catches fire, do not pour water on the flames. Use a fire extinguisher, or cover the flames with a wet, big piece of cloth.
- Since smoke is toxic, cover your mouth with a wet towel and crouch low while making your escape.
To Report a Crime, Theft, or Traffic Accident (Dial the police department at 110.)
These calls are handled across Japan on a 24-hour basis. If someone is injured, the police can call an ambulance.
How to Make a 110 Call
- Lift the telephone receiver and if there is an emergency button on the telephone, press this button before dialing 110. If there is no such button, dial 110 without an area code.
- Explain whether you are calling to report a traffic accident or a crime (such as a robbery).
- Give the location of the accident or incident, the address, or any landmarks of the location where you are; give your name as well.
Concerning the Use of Illegal Drugs
In Japan, possession of all illegal drugs, such as marijuana, stimulants, cocaine, heroin, opium, LSD, and MDMA, are strictly prohibited by law. Please be aware that possession of even a small amount of any of these illegal drugs is punishable by law as a criminal offense and could lead to serving a sentence in jail.
Created: March 30, 2010 / Last modified:June 24, 2016