October 2019

Our monthly online newsletter,"L'ESPACE".
L'ESPACE is a diverse French word that means place,area,cosmos,and gap.

Back Number

Preparing for earthquakes

Preparing for earthquakes is important for minimizing earthquake damage. Please do the following in order to prepare for the possibility of a major earthquake.

Preparations for preventing earthquake injury

Prevent large furniture from falling over

Earthquake tremors can cause furniture such as cupboards, bookcases, and dressers to fall over. Please do the following to prevent injury caused by falling furniture.


Introducing a variety of methods to prevent furniture from falling over (Japanese only):

NHK: Earthquake Preparations You Can Do Right Now! Earthquake Measures at Homes

Prevent broken glass and dishes from scattering

Earthquake tremors can cause broken glass and dishes to scatter, which can cause injuries. Please take the following preventive measures:

Ensure that safe evacuation is possible

Please do the following to ensure that you are able to evacuate safely without being injured.

Prepare items needed after an earthquake

Prepare water and food

A major earthquake can stop all services of electricity, gas, and water. Also, if roads become unusable, relief supplies (kyuen-busshi) may not reach the disaster area, and products may not be delivered to convenience stores or supermarkets. You should be prepared to live off your own supplies for a short period of time. Be sure to prepare water, food, and other daily necessities.

<Examples of supplies to prepare at your home>

Food / Drink
  • Drinking water (3 Liters per person per day)
  • Food (retort pouch foods, instant foods, canned foods, and other foods which are easily to eat)

Prepare at least 3 days of food and water. A one-week supply is preferable. You don't have to prepare anything special. Simply buy extra amounts of what you usually eat and keep some in reserve.

Daily necessities
  • Wrap, plastic bag, garbage bag
  • Toilet paper, tissue paper, wet tissue
Daily necessities after an earthquake has occurred
  • Portable stove, gas cartridge
  • LED lantern
  • Emergency toilet (toilet that can be used without water)
  • Battery-powered radio

Prepare items to take when evacuating

If your home was damaged by an earthquake, you should go to an emergency shelter (hinanjo).
Prepare a backpack filled with items to take when evacuating. Keep the backpack where you can grab it quickly.

<Examples of items to pack in your backpack>

  • Important things (cash, copy of your passport, copy of your residence card)
  • Drinking water
  • Ready to eat (canned foods, biscuits, chocolate, etc.)
  • Portable radio, flashlight (kaichu-dento), lighter
  • First aid kit (band aids, bandages, antiseptic solution, daily medicines, etc.)
  • Underwear, socks, Towel
  • Warm clothing, rain gear
  • Durable (tough) gloves
  • Disposable pocket warmers (kairo)
  • Plastic bag, wet tissue
  • Toothbrush, liquid toothpaste

Do not make the backpack too heavy. Only pack what you really need.

Matters to check before an earthquake

Decide on how to contact family and friends

After an earthquake, you may not have mobile phone service.
Talk with your family and friends about how to contact each other through a method other than telephone or e-mail. Examples include emergency messaging systems operated by mobile phone companies or SNS (LINE, Twitter, Facebook).


The following URL introduces various methods for contacting your family and friends.

TMG's Disaster Prevention Website: Confirmation on People's Safety During Disasters

Confirm your emergency shelter (hinanjo) and evacuation route

Confirm the location of the emergency shelter (hinanjo) to which you will evacuate after an earthquake. Also, confirm your route to the emergency shelter.


You can search for emergency shelters in different areas of Tokyo at the following website.

TMG's Disaster Prevention Map: Japanese
TMG's Disaster Prevention Map: English

Search for useful apps in the event of an earthquake

It is convenient to install disaster prevention apps (apps which are useful in the event of earthquakes, typhoons, etc.) on your smartphone in advance. Search for and install apps for the region where you live, or apps which are easy for you to use.


The following is a disaster prevention app operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. It is useful for obtaining information after an earthquake has occurred.

Some contents are also available in English, Chinese (simplified/traditional), and Korean.

Tokyo disaster prevention app