Earthquake Safety for You and Your Family
- If you can read PDF files, here is very useful earthquake handbook by Niigata Prefecture
Five rules of thumb for actions in the event of an earthquake
1. Protect yourself and your family first
The initial strong quake lasts about one minute.
Get yourself under a sturdy table or desk and protect your head.
2. Put the fire out the second you feel the tremor
If a fire breaks out, put it out immediately.
Make it a habit to put out open flames even for minor earthquakes.
Protect yourself first in the event of a major earthquake.
3. Do not rush out of the house
It is dangerous to rush out thoughtlessly.
Check the surrounding situation carefully and act calmly.
4. Open the door to secure an exit
You may be locked in the room by a warped door especially in reinforced-concrete buildings.
Open the door to secure an exit.
5. Act on correct information
False rumors may confuse people in the event of a disaster.
Pay attention to information from the mass media, municipalities, fire department, and police.
Actions in Timeline
- When an earthquake occurs, your actions will vary as time goes on. Carry these instructions with you and keep them in mind in case of an earthquake.
* Immediately After an Earthquake (Zero to Two Minutes After a Quake)
When you feel an earthquake, protect yourself and wait until the shaking stops.
First of all, protect yourself!
As soon as you feel an earthquake, the first thing you should do is to protect yourself from falling objects.
Take cover under a desk.
Protect your head with something like a cushion or magazine.
Move away from furniture.
Move away from glass and windows.
You should check the safety of rooms in your home regularly and also should install a fire-alarm.
* After the Earthquake (Two to Five Minutes After a Quake)
Turn off the stove and any other flames in the kitchen. Before evacuating, turn off the circuit breaker and the gas at the main valve.
*When a quake is big, protect yourself first, and if it is small, give priority to putting out fires.
Extinguish fires thoroughly and prevent new fires from starting!
You have three chances to put out fires. Your prompt action will prevent fire disasters.
When you feel a small quake
When the first strong quake stops
Immediately after a fire breaks out
Before evacuating, be sure to turn off the circuit breaker and the gas at the main valve.
* After Putting Out a Fire (Five to Ten Minutes After a Quake)
Check and secure the safety of your family and gather disaster and evacuation information.
Secure an evacuation route.
Check and secure the safety of your home!
Once you have made sure you are safe, carry out the following tasks.
Check and secure the safety of your family.
Seek out disaster and evacuation information.
Secure an evacuation route.
Watch out for broken glass and toppled furniture.
Use the disaster message telephone line to obtain information on the safety of your relatives.
* After Getting Outside (Ten Minutes to Half Day After a Quake)
Cooperate with your neighbors to rescue people trapped inside houses and under furniture. Also, extinguish fires.
Check the condition of your neighbors and do what you can to help!
Your neighbors are going through the same difficult experience. Ensure the safety of neighborhood residents, and corporate in rescue and aid efforts.
Rescue the people in collapsed houses and under toppled furniture.
Make an effort to put out fires that start up.
Aid injured people.
Learn first-aid to help injured people.
* For a Few Days After Evacuation (Half Day to Three Days After a Quake)
For a few days, there may be interruptions of essential services including water, gas, electricity, and telephone services, as well as limited food supplies. So, prepare a stock of two to three days of emergency supplies.
For the first two to three days, try to take care of yourself and your family.
For the first several days after an earthquake, there may be interruptions of essential services including water, gas, electricity, and telephone service, as well as limited food supplies. To provide for this, prepare a stock of two to three days of emergency supplies.
Days needed for the total restoration of services after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake.
Water service: 90 days City gas: 84 days Electricity: 7 days
Refer to the emergency supplies list to help prepare for disasters.
A list of key emergency supplies
Food and water (roughly three days of food for entire family and three liters of water per person a day)
First-aid kit, medicine, etc
Portable radio, flashlight, batteries
Cash and valuables
* For the Days After Evacuation (More than Three Days After a Quake)
In order to get back to normal daily life, cooperate with volunteers and administrative agencies in resettling and restoring the area.
Local cooperation is needed for reconstruction!
Emergency service agencies will be put into action to restore essential services. To put victims' lives back in order and restore devastated areas, local residents' volunteer activities and cooperation with government agencies are essential.
You can find more action manuals at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Disaster Prevention Homepage.