What Should I do if an Earthquake Occurs?

What should I do if an earthquake occurs?

¢ Protect yourself
Protect your head with a helmet or cushion, and hide in a safe place, such as under a table. Running outside is potentially dangerous, because roof tiles and glass may fall on you.
¢ Extinguish flames
Major aftershocks can come after the smallest earthquakes. Calmly extinguish any nearby flames.
If you are cooking, oil or boiling water may spill during the quake. Under such circumstances, you should immediately distance yourself from the oil or water and extinguish the flames after the quake stops.
¢ Open your door and secure an escape route
Earthquakes can warp buildings, especially apartment buildings, making it impossible to open doors and escape. Open doors and windows to secure an escape route and prevent yourself from becoming trapped.
¢ Be careful of broken glass
You may injure your feet on broken glass and other objects. Prepare a flashlight and slippers near your bed so you will be able to move safely.
¢ Never return to your house
Once you have evacuated, never return to the house to get money or possessions. You may become trapped under debris or caught in a fire. Try to avoid entering your house until safety is confirmed.
¢ Walk to your refuge area
Many emergency vehicles, such as fire engines and ambulances, will be using roads during disasters. Obstructing emergency vehicles immediately increases the damage caused by a disaster. Never use cars during an earthquake.
¢ Avoid phone calls after a disaster
Phone line usage jumps up during disasters because of people trying to confirm the safety of themselves or others. This can obstruct emergency phone calls, such as 110, 119, and utility information.

Please avoid unnecessary phone calls. When you want to confirm the safety of a person, try to use the NTT Disaster Telephone Message Service (171) or make conversations as short as possible.

¢ Calmly obtain accurate information
False rumors and information can spread during disasters, leading to further confusion. Obtain accurate information from the TV or radio and don’t get tricked by misinformation.

What should I do when...?

¢ When walking outside
Take caution against falling objects, such as signs and broken windows. Tools and construction materials can fall down at a construction site. Protect your head with your bag or coat and keep at a distance from tall buildings.

Stone walls and pillars can also fall down and are potentially dangerous.

¢ When driving a car
Firmly hold the steering wheel, gradually reduce speed, park your car on the left side of the road, and stop the engine. Listen to information on the radio and find out what is happening. If you need to evacuate, leave your keys, keep the doors unlocked, and walk away with your car documents and valuables.
¢ When underground or in a subway
The shaking you feel when you are underground is about half of what you would experience over ground. Additionally, underground areas have strong structures and are safer than high-rise buildings. Calmly evacuate, following instructions from shop clerks and subway staff.
¢ When in high-rise buildings
Elevators with earthquake sensors will stop at the nearest floor. Immediately leave the elevator. If you get stuck in the elevator, use the intercom to contact someone outside and wait for rescue.

When you evacuate from buildings, never use elevators, listen to announcements, and use the stairs to leave the building.

¢ When near the ocean
Head for higher ground and carefully listen to tsunami information. Do not go near the ocean until tsunami warnings have been cleared. Don’t even think about going to watch tsunamis!