As you may know, Japan is a country where earthquakes happen very frequently. More than 10 years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake, also known as the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, and there are still aftershocks like the one that occurred on February 13, 2021.
When a significantly big earthquake hits, people might realize how unprepared they were or might be in shock after seeing that they did not react appropriately. In order to stay as safe as possible, do not forget to check these five important points so you are prepared for when a big earthquake hits. They are unpredictable, so you never know when the next big one will come.
All prefectures disclose disaster prevention maps on their official websites. Check important information like temporary stay facilities, shelters, evacuation areas, and water supply points among others. Also, decide with your family members where to meet up in case a huge disaster occurs. Visit your city ward office and get a disaster prevention pamphlet as well. If you live in a city, some roads might be unavailable due to the liquefaction phenomenon. Check these risks and confirm the safest route to the evacuation areas.
When you need to evacuate your own home, you can’t take everything with you. Put what you really need into an emergency bag beforehand and get out of the house with it immediately.
Inside of the bag, you should at least pack these items: some water, emergency food, a portable toilet, a helmet, a flashlight, batteries, a portable radio, work gloves, a blanket, a sleeping bag, a first aid kit, a cooking stove, gas cartridges, cash, your savings account bankbook, and your personal seal (hanko)
When a huge earthquake occurs and there is almost no damage to your home, the place you should stay in is your own home. But keep it in mind that a large earthquake usually triggers water outages and blackouts, not to mention that the gas is shut down. When these life necessities disappear, you need to survive without them.
When a recent typhoon hit Chiba in 2019 summer of 2019, there was no electricity for more than 5 days, and people were forced to struggle with humid weather without their air conditioners. We can’t predict when disaster will happen.. So we have to consider how to survive when water, electricity, gas, or all of them stop.
The most important thing for human beings is water. You can keep some water in the bathtub everyday until the next day or keep water in a plastic container (so that you can use it when flushing the toilet or when washing your clothes), and purchase dozens of bottled water for cooking and drinking.
If you have outdoor goods like a cooking stove and gas cartridges, you can easily cook rice with 1 cup rice and 1.5 cup water for only 13 minutes (and 10 more minutes to rest)! Make most of your wisdom and collect information.
The worst timing for a huge earthquake to hit is midnight. What if the closet falls down on top of you while you are asleep? Putting nothing except a bed or futon in your bedroom is the best, but if it’s difficult, do not forget securing and bolting large furniture to the wall or on the floor.
If you need to survive without electricity, water, and gas at home, the last thing you’ll want is to waste the food in the fridge. An earthquake with an intensity of 6 on the Japanese scale (where 7 is the highest) can easily make your fridge fall down, its door open, and the contents inside spill out. Securing these large pieces of furniture and buying door stoppers are necessary.
If there is someone you wish to call or text during a disaster, you can leave and listen to a message, or text by using these services.
The guidelines are all written in English. Check the public service like #171 call and J-ampi, and also your mobile carrier’s.
In Japan, it has been said that “備えあれば憂いなし Sonae Areba Urei Nashi (if you are prepared you don’t have to worry)” for a long time since living in the country where lots of disasters like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, typhoons, and floods, happen quite often. Be sure to check it.