Everybody around the world is well aware of how Japan is a country that’s prone to natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis. With lots of tourists visiting the country, there’s no way to tell when an earthquake will occur or if a tsunami is coming your way.
However, what you can do is prepare yourself before visiting the country. Educate yourself on how the Japanese people prepare themselves and familiarize yourself with their strategies. This way, you’ll be minimizing risks while traveling.
We are providing some basic tips for you to follow if you find yourself in the middle of an earthquake or a tsunami when you’re in Japan. Let’s get started!
1. Staying Safe During a Major Earthquake
Your first priority should be about keeping yourself safe during a major earthquake. This is the first and most important step – finding a safe spot. After you’ve done that, get into a low position so that you don’t lose your balance and protect your head with your arms.
If you’re near the ocean, chances are there is a risk of a tsunami. There is a risk of fire if you’re around historical areas that have old buildings made out of wood.
Carry the best bug out bag with you while traveling since it’s very useful during emergencies. You can store at least 3 days worth of food, water, and other necessary supplies inside it.
You need to protect yourself first at all costs and stay safe during a disaster and be prepared for all types of situations from the beginning.
2. Have a Plan Ready During Emergency Situations
Whether it’s an earthquake or a tsunami, there is a high possibility of public transit systems being closed off. Even gas, electricity, water, etc services will be turned off too.
Not to mention, your phone and internet connections will be down as well. Sounds really bleak, but have no fear. Japan has all sorts of emergency services and centers for times like this.
Have a plan ready by evacuating to a safe spot and collecting accurate information first. Make sure you are physically and mentally able to handle yourself until you leave the affected area. And also, always look for a way to connect to your friends or loved ones.
3. Collecting Accurate Information
The Japanese have a nationwide system already going on that alerts you a few seconds before an earthquake hits your location. Some smartphones in Japan have this already built-in.
So, whenever people hear the alarm they go to the nearest safe place immediately. For tourists who don’t have this, they can download some apps that can help them with warnings and safety tips.
These apps have English explanations and you can customize them to the area where you are staying currently. With these apps, you have a much higher chance of staying safe.
After you’ve gone through the earthquake and aftershocks safely, collecting information is crucial like the magnitude, intensity scale, tsunami risk, epicenter, etc. Important information is delivered almost instantly on their local social media in English as well.
4. Evacuating to a Safe Place
During an earthquake, everybody thinks the best place to evacuate is an open space. But people in Japan are often advised to stay inside instead. This is because their buildings are constructed by following the strictest of building codes. They are also designed to withstand the highest intensity of earthquakes.
The Japanese have a carefully planned system of evacuation whenever there is a natural disaster. There are facilities in every region designated to assess high-risk disasters.
They are landmarked on maps and it would be better to familiarize yourself with them. They will help a lot in an emergency situation.
5. In Case a Building Collapses
Taking shelter at emergency shelters is your top priority. These are normally local elementary or junior high schools. You will be provided food, water, toilets, public telephones, first aid and a place to rest.
These shelters will also give you related information about the disaster and can be located easily as well. There are signs that are installed at every major streets and station.
Identify them and head to the nearest evacuation shelter ASAP.
You can never know for sure when a disaster will strike or what kind of condition you will be in. However, being prepared during your travels can help you a lot.
Always mark down emergency and evacuation centers on your maps. The key is to be safe and getting out of a disaster safely as well. It will be scary and tough, but once you most past the fear you can overcome any obstacle and get out of it.