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3 Things Not to Miss When an Earthquake Happens in Japan

By Yae Apr 26, 2018

This post is also available in: Italian Spanish


If you’re living in Japan or visited Japan as a tourist, have you ever felt an earthquake unexpectedly? Japan is a very attractive country to live with many conveniences; it’s very easy to get around, convenient with cheap products everywhere like 100-yen shops and safe to walk around even at midnight. However, earthquakes are something you can’t avoid if you’re living in Japan, and we can sometimes feel a level 1 or 2 earthquake.
What if you coincidentally experience a big earthquake while you’re spending time in Japan? This article will show you the steps you should follow when you feel the risky earthquake in Japan and how you can be prepared in advance. Let’s be safe all the time!



1. Why there are so Many Earthquakes in Japan?



Before we start talking about the steps you must follow after the earthquake strikes, do you know why there are so many earthquakes in Japan?
The Earth is consisted of 6 continents as follows:

・North America
・South America

Japan belongs to the Eurasian continent and there are many plates around the Japanese archipelago in which earthquakes occur. These plates collide with each other and cause earthquakes.
A Surprising fact is between 2000 and 2009 in Japan, there were over 200 earthquakes at level 6 or higher. Also, many earthquakes occur from volcanic eruptions. There are around 110 volcanos in Japan, 7.3% of the volcanos in the entire world.



2. Are there any Effective Prevention Steps Before an Earthquake Happens?



As an earthquake suddenly happens, the scale of seismic intensity often goes from level 1 to level 7 in Japan. Do you want to know any effective preparations to stay safe just in case an earthquake happens?
Here are some effective precautions you can do before an earthquake happens:


1.Downsizing your household furniture



When an earthquake happens while you’re at home, one of the most dangerous situations is when furniture such as bookshelves, lamp stands, or wardrobes fall, and in the worst case, you become trapped under the furniture.
To avoid this risk, try to downsize your household furniture as much as possible. If you have your favorite tall bookshelves, it’s hard to let it go so you can also a use non-slip rug gripper to secure furniture to the walls. If you want to avoid this danger, we recommend you to go to the home depot or 100-yen shop to get a non-slip rug gripper.


2.Check the nearest evacuation spot


If a large scale earthquake suddenly strikes, such as level 5 to level 7, evacuation to your nearest evacuation spot is recommended in order to stay safe.
The major recommended evacuation spots are as follows:

・Open space areas
・School playgrounds


During an earthquake a fire sometimes breaks out. In the event of a fire, it is advised to evacuate to an open space around 10ha which is as big as 10 Tokyo Dome.
Evacuation to a large open space is a  life saver in the case of a big earthquake.


3. Prepare an Emergency Kit at Home


If a massive earthquake strikes, you are advised to leave your homes as soon as possible.
To save time, you should prepare an emergency kit, and keep it ready at home, accessible all the time. The major items you must have are as follows:


・Flashlight (The flashlight function of your smartphone can also be used)
It helps in case of a sudden blackout.

・Portable slippers
Handy after evacuate in the shelter room.

It helps if you need any help if you’re stuck and can’t move.

・First-aid kit
It helps if you get injured.

・Bottled drink of water
It helps to quench your thirst.

・Necessary medicine
It helps if you get a stomachache or catch a cold but can’t see the doctor.

・Canned food
Easily preserved so there is little need to restock.


3.The Steps You Must Follow when an Earthquake Happens


If you spend time in Japan, you can’t avoid an unexpected earthquake when it strikes. If it does, you should follow these steps:



1. Wear shoes even you’re at home

Japanese people normally don’t wear any shoes at home but when a big earthquake strikes, this rule is generally ignored. If you feel an earthquake, tableware or breakables may fall and sharp pieces may scatter on the floor. If a blackout occurs, it will be too dark to see the broken pieces and could become get injured.
It’s better to wear athletic shoes if there’s any chance you need to run away from your house to avoid a secondary disaster.


2. Save as much water in the bath as possible

When an earthquake occurs, many people have a hard time since the water supply is sometimes stopped.
If you save as much water as possible in the bath, you can use this water to wash yourself or flush your toilet. If you can’t use the bath to collect water, it would also be acceptable to store water using a bucket or your kitchen sink.


3.Call your family and friends ASAP


If a big earthquake strikes, call your families or friends immediately to confirm their safety. If your important people get injured somewhere and need some help, you can support them immediately.
However, you must be careful that not only you, but other people will also start calling their families or friends to check if they’re okay using their smart phones and the connection is often very bad, and in the worst case the phone might not connect.
In this case, keep calling or call them back little later.


Taking extra care for the earthquake is not a waste of time, you can never be too prepared.
Not only Japan but many other countries are also prone to natural disasters because of their geographical position but there are ways to avoid some of the disaster damage.


“A natural disaster strikes when people lose their memory of the previous one.”


Keep this in mind!