Japanese | English | Portuguese | Spanish | Chinese (Simplified Chinese) | Chinese (Traditional Chinese) | Hangul | Tagalog

Reference Book
Do what you can to reduce personal risk
~and an earthquake will not be so threatening~

No1 --When you hear BANG! When you hear CRASH! Don't Panic!
No2 --Do Not Panic within your Surroundings
No3 --Secure Your Furniture
No4 --Be Prepared with Emergency Rations
No5 --Prepare for Secondary Earthquake Disaster
No6 --Making an Emergency Contact Plan for Your Family
No7 --Be prepared for life in an evacuation centre
No8 --Master First Aid
No9 --Earthquake help sheet (Keep for your records)

Publication:Shiga Prefecture  発行:滋賀県
Translation/Edition:Shiga Intercultural Association for Globalization 「Mimitaro」
Download PDF

When you hear BANG! When you hear CRASH! Don't Panic!

There have been several large earthquakes in Japan recently. The fault west of Lake Biwa, and nearby Tonankai and Nankai areas are seen to threaten a large earthquake and damage over a wide area of Shiga. This is the first in a series to help you be fully prepared in case an earthquake happens.

?? *Give priority to protecting yourself. Get under a table, bed or like object. If you were sleeping use the pillow to protect your head.
*Get in to the habit of turning off the gas, even if it is just a small shake. However do not put yourself at unnecessary risk because the gas mains have a safety breaker.
1~2?? *Secure emergency exits. Secure escape routes by opening doors and windows. Doors at apartment blocks might be difficult to open but windows are comparatively easy.
*Find the source of any fire and extinguish it straight away.
*Wear shoes, even inside. This protects your feet from debris like broken glass and allows immediate escape.
*Check that your family is safe. Leave the house if it is likely to collapse or suffer from a landslide. When outside be aware of falling roof tiles, window glass, signboards, etc
3~5?? *Prepare portable emergency kit.
*Check for fires in the neighbourhood.
*Gather information. Get information from verified sources like the radio. Do not be misled by rumour.
5~10?? *Check up on the safety of people who need help in your community.
10??~???? *Evacuate if there is a danger of building collapse, fire, etc resulting from aftershocks.
*Collect your children from school.
*Prevent fire. Close main gas cock. Shut the electricity breaker when leaving the house.
*Leave a note of your whereabouts visible at the entrance of your house when you go out.
*Use your emergency supplies. It is important to fend for yourself but help others in need too.
*Help with rescues and fire prevention in your area. Inform the fire department and other authorities if necessary.
*Evacuate in a group. Evacuate on foot avoiding concrete block walls and broken electric cables etc.
*Get information. Pay attention to municipal news bulletins.

Do Not Panic within your Surroundings

Street of Buildings

Watch out for collapsing buildings, falling objects such as broken window glass or signs, and the falling vending machines. Protect your head with a handbag and evacuate to an open space.

Residential area

Watch out for falling walls, gateposts, glass, roof tiles, and electrical wires.

Underground shopping area

The structure is durable and well equipped for fire. Follow instruction signs and guides to evacuate calmly after an earthquake has stopped.

When driving a car

Hold the steering wheel firmly, pull over to the left side of the road and gather information from the radio. When you evacuate from the car, close the window, keep the door unlocked, leave the key in the car, and take your car registration if possible.


Push buttons for all floors and get out on the floor where the elevator first stops. If you are trapped, continue pushing the emergency button.

Department store/Supermarket

Cover your head with a shopping basket or handbag. Wait at a safe place until earthquake stops so not to be crushed under articles or a shelf. Follow the instructions by the store staff for evacuation.


Hold on to the front seat or handle with both hands tightly. When you escape from the emergency exit, follow the instructions of the staff.

Care for people who need assistance in times of disaster

*People who need assistance in times of disaster:People who have hard time coping with disaster by themselves, such as elderly people&babies,People who have physical or mental disabilities.

*Elderly / Injured people

Use an emergency stretcher or carry them on your back to evacuate.

*People with vision disability

When you evacuate, have them hold your elbow by one hand and hold the cane with the opposite hand. Guide them slowly. Walk carefully while explaining location of stairs and other obstacles.

*People with hearing disability

Use gestures, write messages, or speak to them moving your mouth widely.

Secure Your Furniture


* Confirm the strength of the ceiling before using the expandable bar.
* Furniture on the carpet and tatami mat can fall down easier. Move it to different room or place a board underneath.
* If you do not want any markings/scratches on the furniture,or screws cannot be used, add another board on the furniture surface and screw into it.

Buffet / Book shelf

* Store heavier books towards the bottom of the shelf. Reduce gaps between books as much as possible.
* Apply splash prevention film on the glass.
* Placing fabric underneath dishes can prevent slippage.
* Avoid placing objects on the top of the shelf (They may fall off ).

TV / Computer

* Do not set it in high place.
* Confirm the weight and expiration date of resin quake-absorbing sheet. For an extremely heavy object, use it with caution.


* Use latches to secure drawers from opening.
* Secure the refrigerator to the wall using the little knob on the back side (some models take special fixture) or use the wire between doors and attach it to the wall.


* Secure the light bulb with the heat resistant tape.
* Use wire or chain to secure hanging type lighting fixture to the ceiling (2~3 areas).


*Use slip stopper for the legs. For the body, use plastic coated or taped wire (these products will not scratch the body of the piano) to secure from the wall.

Base of the walls

*When securing furniture to the wall using hook, wire, chain or L shaped clamp, make sure that the screw is attached to the post, beam, center pillar or middle rail.
*Plasterboard may not secure objects strong enough.

Air conditioning / Clock / Pictured frame

*Use L shaped clamp or hook to secure to the wall.

Furniture Arrangement

*No furniture should be in the bed room.
*Avoid having large size furniture especially in children's and elder's rooms.
*Do not sleep where the furniture may fall down.
*Do not place any objects by the exit.
*Place furniture in certain way so that it will not block the passage for escape.

Be Prepared with Emergency Rations

Emergency Rations Check the list for more details.

These are the supplies that you take with you when you take refuge after an earthquake. They should be stored with gloves, shoes, a helmet etc, under or close to your bed. 15kg for men, 10kg for women and a comfortable weight for children is a good guide for load. Supplies should be packed into a rucksack for each person ready to escape.
* Other Useful Items: Mobile phone charger (car cigarette lighter or disposable type), powdered milk, baby feeder, disposable nappies (diapers) rash ointment, cleansers, Maternity Record Book copy, baby food, reserve medication, prescription copy, okayu rice, hearing aid, radio, etc.
* Personal name stamp (inkan), bank book, title deeds, precious metals should be stored in a bag that can be reached easily when you escape.

Emergency Supplies

It is essential that you can survive until rescue help arrives. You should prepare enough for three days survival. Everything should be at hand when you need to escape.

Buying extra of your normal daily food results in a slightly luxurious emergency supplies if you have to escape. Don't forget to keep it fresh!

Other Equipment

You should leave tools in the place that they are needed
*Kitchen,Living Room (Fire Extinguisher)
*Tools to escape from building (Axe)
*Tools to escape from upper floors (Rope)
In order to get home from work on foot you should prepare the following: suitable shoes, gloves, towel, food, water, suitable clothes, map, photographs of your family, etc.

Where to Buy

Outdoor shops and home centres have emergency supplies corners but you can get what you need from almost any shop. It is a good idea to prepare emergency supplies as you do your everyday shopping .

* Food:A mixture of long-life and everyday foods is recommended. Keep it fresh!
* Torch & Radio:From electrical shops. Non-battery(solar, wind-up) types available.
* Helmet: Construction site helmets can be bought at Home Centres, construction shops and DIY Shops. Cycle and motorcycle helmets can also be used.

Prepare for Secondary Earthquake Disaster

3 chances to extinguish fire

1 When you felt a quake

If the initial quake is not too strong, put out the fire immediately. Make a habit of putting out fire even with a small quake.

2 When a quake settles down

It is more dangerous to go near the fire in the middle of a strong quake. Wait until the movement settles, then put out the fire.

3 When fire breaks out

The first 3 minutes after the fire breaks out is the most critical time. Even for the small fire, shout to neighbors for help and call 119. Utilize any ready material besides fire extinguisher or water, such as a wool blanket, to put out fire. However, when the fire reaches the ceiling, evacuate immediately. Close the door and windows of the room with fire to cut out the air supply.

How to use fire extinguisher

<1> Put finger through safety pin and pull upward.

<2>Release hose and aim for the base of fire.

<3> Push lever hard to shoot out the agent.

<4> Move hose from side to side.
<5> Face against the door to keep the passage clear from smoke and extinguisher agent.

How to put out fire by type of origin

Pan with hot oil

* Do not put water.
* Cover it with wool blanket or big wet towel from the front of the pan to cut out air supply (can use extinguisher).
* Do not throw in mayonnaise.

Kerosene heater

* Dump the water from the top.
* If kerosene is spreading on the floor, cover it with wool blanket, etc. then, dump the water (can use extinguisher).


* Roll on the floor, have someone beat out the fire (can use extinguisher).
* If your hair is burning, cover your head with towel or clothing (do not use synthetic fiber).

Curtain/Paper sliding door

In order to prevent the fire from reaching the ceiling, take down the curtain and kick down the sliding door before putting out the fire.


* Remember that the fire may gain force if the door is opened without caution.
* Turn off the main cock of the gas, and then gradually open the door. Put out fire all at once.


* Unplug electronics, and then put out fire.

Key point for evacuation from fire

* When the fire reaches to the ceiling, do not fight it. Evacuate immediately.
* Assist people with disabilities first.
* Do not worry about what you are wearing or what to take with you. Evacuate as soon as possible.
* If running through fire, run without hesitation.
* Keep your body in low position to stay away from smoke
* Do not return into the fire.
* If someone is left in the fire, notify the nearest fireman.

Earthquake Insurance:Fire insurance will not pay for the damage from the fire caused by earthquake. Earthquake insurance is an addition to the fire insurance. Confirm your insurance policy with your agent.


Making an Emergency Contact Plan for Your Family

To give a priority to an emergency call, use another way except regular telephone lines to contact your family

* Anyone can use NTT's emergency contact service "Saigai-yo Dengon Dial 171".
* The public telephones get priority connection from NTT, and it's more easy to access. So know where the nearest one is.
* In times of disaster locations further away from where it occurred have faster connection. Therefore it is recommended to designate the phone number of a relative who lives in a different area as your contact point.


Free trail dial on 1st of month (Feb - Dec) except January and 30th Aug - 5th Sep



* This is an email service
* Service provided by NTT Docomo, au, Tuka
* Check with your provider for details
(Valid as of March 2005)

*40% "Cannot do a thing"

A survey of what went on during the Hanshin-Awaji Great Earthquake in 1995 showed that 39.5 % of people "could do nothing". People tend to freeze with fear and panic when faced with a natural disaster like a powerful earthquake. Being able to act calmly in emergency situations means that danger is
controlled and lives are saved. It is well worth making a plan with your family about what you will do in an emergency.

Be prepared for life in an evacuation centre

Life in an evacuation centre lacks freedom and privacy but having an attitude to understand and help fellow evacuees makes the experience easier.

* It is important to communicate effectively with others in the evacuation centre so that no one feels isolated (especially those injured, and those who are not normally part of the community e.g. travelers ).
* Talk with officials (e.g. centre staff, medical professional, police) at the evacuation centre to reduce your worries
* Try to not cause trouble for others
* Take measures to reduce stress. Simple exercise can be effective.
* Evacuation centres are not just run by government and volunteer groups, but local communities take part too.
* There is a danger of colds and influenza spreading, so take care to wash hands and gargle, and even wear a mask.
* If you stay in a vehicle be careful of blood clots like "economy class syndrome". Drink fluids and do limb exercises while in the vehicle. Do not stay in a vehicle for more than a few days.

Returning to a damaged house
A disaster official will attach a notice to each building according to its condition


UNSAFE Danger!
Do not enter


Caution required when entering building


Building safe for occupation

* The gas supply to most buildings automatically shuts off during a level 5 quake. Be aware of how to perform a safety check and restore the gas flow at your home.
* Check the sewage system is restored by test-flushing the toilet before using it. Contact municipal authorities if there is a problem.
* Check for gas leaks before restoring the electricity breaker.
* If gas has escaped, ventilate in the building before using electricity. Do not use an electric fan to do this!

Master First Aid

It is possible that you are not able to receive an urgent care during times of disaster such as earthquake, which involves a number of injured people at the same time. Let's learn First Aid for an emergency.

Hemostasis (Stop bleeding)

Although you may be in shock to see large amounts of blood, it is important to stay calm and stop the bleeding.
Normally it is safe for adults to lose about 400ml of blood. Life becomes critical if an adult loses more than one third
of the body's blood (1500ml). First, observe how much bleeding there is and from where the bleeding comes.
* Blood is pouring out -- Arterial bleeding:Stop bleeding immediately
* Blood is welling out -- Venous bleeding:Stop bleeding as soon as possible
* Blood is oozing out

<Direct Pressure Hemostasis>
* Cover the wound with clean gauze or cloth. Directly put pressure on the wound.
* Make sure the wound is elevated above the heart.

<Indirect Pressure Hemostasis>
When you have the condition of blood pouring out but are not quite ready for the direct pressure hemostasis, use this method temporarily by pushing the artery closest to the heart from the bleeding area towards the bone.
*Center of inner upper arm
*Center of underarm
*Both sides of finger

Broken Bone

* Support the broken area with a brace and take the patient to the medical care facility.
* If you cannot find a brace, use alternatives such as board, magazine, umbrella and cardboard.


* Cool down the burned area under running water.
* If too much water pressure exists, pour cold water into a small bucket and cool down the burned area in there.
* If the burned area is covered by fabric, run cold water over the fabric.
* If a wide area is burned, use the hose or bucket to pour cold water, or wet a large clean fabric such as a sheet to cover the entire area.
* If a child has widespread burns, put him or her in the bath tub with cold water (during warmer months).

You may face other cases where someone needs mouth-to-mouth breathing or heart massage. Learn how to give CPR through
classes given by the municipal office, fire department and Japan Red Cross. Major scuba diving groups may give classes as well.


Earthquake Help Sheet( keep for your records)

#Keep this with your earthquake emergency pack
#Anyone can get help at any evacuation site
#See Mimitaro 60 for how to use Disaster Emergency Dengon Dial 171 to contact family

Kinkyujiyo Kojin Kiroku/ Emergency Use Personal Data
DOB(せいねんがっぴ):   (yyy)   (mm)   (dd)
BloodType(けつえきがた):      (Rh +・-)
Home Address(じたくじゅうしょ):             
Company Name(きんむさき):              
Emergency contact(きんきゅうれんらくさき):             

Emergency Vocabulary (from you to a Japanese)

助けてください。(tasukete kudasai) Help!
日本語が分かりません(nihongo ga wakarimasen) I don’t understand Japanese
○○語を話せます(go wo hanasemasu) I speak ○○
○○がいます(ga imasu)
病人(byounin)けが人(keganin)家の中に人(ie no naka ni hito)
There is ○○
(an ill ・an injured person here・some one in the house)
ケガしています(kega shiteimasu) (I’m) injured
体調が悪いです(taicho ga warui desu) (I’m) ill
○○が痛いです。(itai desu)
○○ hurts (is painful)
( head・neck ・chest・back・stomach ・hand・arm・foot・leg)
I have ○○
(diabetes・heart disease・ epilepsy)
○○ が不自由です。(ga hujiyu desu)
I am unable to use my ○○
( ear・ eye ・ hand or arm ・ foot or leg)
家族と連絡をとりたい(kazoku to renraku ga toritai) I want to contact my family
○○ はどこですか。(wa dokodesuka)
避難所(hinansyo)医者(isya)食べ物(tebemono)(mizu)生活用品の配給(seikatuyouhin no haikyu)電話(denwa)トイレ(toire)風呂(huro)携帯電話の充電(keitaidenwa no jyuden)
Where is ○○ ?
(evacuation place・doctor・)food・water・ supplies distribution・telephone・toilet ・bath・mobile phone charger)
○○ はつかえますか。 (wa tukaemasuka)
Is it possible to use ○○?
(toilet・water・telephone・gas・bus・train )
○○ がほしいです。 (ga hoshiidesu )
(I) want ○○
(milkpowder・hot water・baby food・nappiesor diapers・blanket・sanitary towels・clothes)
○○ がたべられません。 (ga taberaremasen )
(I) cannot eat ○○ 
(health reasons・ religious reasons)(pork・beef・soba (buckwheat)・ eggs・fish)

Emergency Vocabulary (from a Japanese to you)

にげてください。 (nigete kudasai) Escape from here
ついてきてください。(tuitekite kudasai) Come with me
あぶないです。(abunai desu) (Its) dangerous
大丈夫です。(daijyobu desu) (Its)okay
○○に避難してください。(ni hinaishite kudasai)
Please evacuate to○○
(evacuation site・primary or elementary school・/middle or junior high school・community centre)
○○にはいらないでください。(ni haidanaide kudasai)
Please do not enter ○○
(house・ building・with out permission)
○○(wo)_(ji)_(pun)にくばります。(ni kubarimasu)
○○ will be distributed at <time>
(food ・water・ supplies)

Useful words~Get to know them now!

避難指示(ひなんしじ) hinanshiji – evacuation order 利用時間(りようじかん) riyojikan – usage time
Local Evacuation site
No Entry
No Smoking
No Through Road
避難解除(ひなんかいじょ) hinan kaijo – (evacuation) all clear 火気厳禁(かきげんきん) kaki genkin – no naked flames
火事(かじ) kaji – fire 禁煙(きんえん) kin en – no smoking
土砂崩(どしゃくず) Dosha kuzure – landslide 喫煙場所(きつえんばしょ) kitsuen basho – smoking area
危険(きけん) kiken – danger 無料(むりょう)/有料(ゆうりょう) muryo/yuryo – free / charge
立入禁止(たちいりきんし) tachi iri kinshi – no entry 貸し出し(かしだし) kashidashi – for rent / lend
余震(よしん) yoshin – after shock 通行可能(つうこうかのう) tsuko kano – passable
応急処置(おうきゅうしょち) okyushochi – first aid 通行止(つうこうどめ) tsuko kinshi – no through road
救護所(きゅうごしょ) kyugosho – first aid 消灯時間(しょうとうじかん) shoto jikan – blackout period
ペースメーカー(ぺーすめーかー) pesumeka - pacemaker エコノミークラス症候群(えこのみーくらすしょうこうぐん) economy class shokogun – economy class syndrome
人工透析(じんこうとうせき) jinko toseki – artificial dialysis 復旧(ふっきゅう) fukkyu – restoration
炊き出し(たきだし) taki dashi – emergency food (rice) 災証明書(さいしょうめいしょ) risaishomeisho–certificate of earthquakedamage
給水車(きゅうすいしゃ) kyusuisha – water truck    

→Evacuation Centre Map(PDF)