Preparing for natural disasters
Japan experiences heavy rain and typhoons from June until October. During this time, the rain and wind caused by typhoons may cause danger beyond expectation, such as rivers flooding, landslides, and high tides. Although we can predict heavy rain and typhoons to a certain extent these days, it is difficult to predict their power. Also, Japan experiences many earthquakes, so always be ready for a disaster.
Preparing for heavy rain and typhoons
When heavy rain or a typhoon is approaching, do the following:
1.Regularly check the weather forecast on the radio, television, or by other means
2.Have things ready to take in the case of an evacuation, such as food, water, medicine, and valuables. Also, there might be a power or gas outage. Just in case, store enough essentials such as food and water to last your family three days
3.Ask your local ward office and fire stations where your evacuation area is
4.Have flashlights and a radio ready in case of a blackout
5.Some items, such as flowerpots or laundry poles, might be blown away. Keep them inside or secure them so they cannot move
6.Take part in disaster drills in your local community
Disaster Warning Levels
Hiroshima City has 5 warning levels to let citizens know about the risk of a disaster and when they should evacuate. If Level 4 is announced, all people who live in affected areas or who feel they are in danger should evacuate immediately.
Level1 Pay attention to weather reports. Be mentally prepared.
Early Warning Information (Soki Chui Joho) Issued by: the Meteorological Agency
Level2 Make sure you know where to evacuate. Make sure you know how to get there.
Flood Advisory (Kozui Chui Ho) Heavy Rain Advisory (Oame Chui Ho) Issued by: the Meteorological Agency
Level3 Evacuate the elderly and people with limited mobility
People who need more time to evacuate should start evacuating.
Evacuation Preparation and Advisory for the Elderly and People With Limited Mobility (Hinan Junbi // Koreisha-To Hinan Kaishi) Issued by: the City of Hiroshima
Level4 Evacuate all people Go to an evacuation area immediately.If it is dangerous to go to an evacuation area, go to a nearby safe place.
Evacuation Advisories (Hinan Kankoku) Evacuation Orders (Emergency) (Hinan Shiji) Issued by: the City of Hiroshima
Level5 Disaster in progress Do what you think is best to protect your safety and the safety of everyone around. Note: Level 5 might not be announced.
Disaster in Progress Announcement (Saigai Hassei Joho) Issued by: the City of Hiroshima
Preparing for earthquakes
We cannot predict when an earthquake will happen. Make sure you are prepared beforehand by doing the following:
1.Secure your furniture so that it does not fall over
2.Do not place anything near your stovetop that burns easily
3.Discuss with your family or others that you are close with both where you will evacuate and how you will contact each other (such as 171 Disaster Emergency Dial)
4.In case you need to evacuate, prepare things that you will take with you, such as food, drinking water, medicines, and valuables
Also, in case there is a power or gas outage, store enough food, drinking water, and other daily essentials to last three days
5.Be aware of any features of the area where you live that might affect you in a disaster
6.Check where evacuation areas are and how to get to them
7.Actively participate in emergency drills run by volunteer disaster preparedness organizations
If an earthquake happens
Pay careful attention to the following, and stay calm.
1.Take shelter under a table
2.If you were using gas-operated appliances, or candles, etc.,
extinguish them after earthquake tremors have stopped
3.Open doors to make sure you can leave
4.If a fire has spread, quickly extinguish it
5.Be careful of broken glass inside your house
6.Do not run outside in a panic
7.Stay away from doorways and walls
8. Check on your neighbors
9. Work together to help people
10.Get accurate information from television or radio
Safety Tips is a free app that sends you notifications when the following are issued: earthquake alerts, tsunami warnings, volcanic eruption alerts, special weather warnings, and civil protection alerts. It has many features that are useful in disasters. It is available in English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.
If ward offices, the police, the fire department, or disaster prevention organizations make an announcement about evacuating, or if there is a danger that your house may collapse or fires may spread, evacuate after carefully considering your situation.
1.Designated Emergency Evacuation Areas
These are shelters or sites for emergency evacuation to escape from a disaster. They are each designated for a type of disaster. These types are: landslides, floods, high tides, earthquakes, tsunamis, and large-scale fires.
2.Designated Evacuation Shelters (Daily Life Evacuation Shelters)
These facilities are a temporary place to live for people who lose their homes in a disaster. It is important that, before a disaster happens, you contact your local ward office, fire station, or other similar institutions, and find out where these areas are. Visit these evacuation areas and inspect the routes to get there, so you know about possible dangers when evacuating.
You can search for public evacuation areas on the Portal Site of Hiroshima City for Disaster Prevention (http://www.bousai.city.hiroshima.lg.jp/en) and the Hiroshima Prefecture Disaster Prevention Web (http://www.bousai.pref.hiroshima.jp).
You do not have to use public evacuation areas. Talk to relatives and friends in advance about evacuating to their homes or other safe places.
When you evacuate:
1.Check again that all flames are extinguished
(Close main gas valves and turn off the electricity at the fuse box)
2.Take information such as where evacuation areas are
3.Take clothing that is easy to move in and something to protect your head
4.Carry emergency items that you will need in a backpack
5.If it is not safe to go to an evacuation area, evacuate to a high floor in a tall, strong building
6.Avoid narrow streets, areas near fences or walls, and riverbanks
Medical and Emergency Cards for international residents
Medical and Emergency Cards help people who are not confident in Japanese language during disasters and other emergencies. The City gives Medical and Emergency Cards to international residents in various languages.You can also download it from the City of Hiroshima website. For details, contact the Human Rights Education Division (Tel: 082-504-2165).