Oct 14. 2019Topics

Making your life in Tokyo safer! What foreigners need to know about evacuation and disaster prevention measures.


The importance of disaster prevention in Japan

Japan is known to be a disaster powerhouse, and natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and typhoons are common. Did you know that typhoon 15 caused enormous damage in Chiba Prefecture in Japan recently? Lots of people realized the importance of preparing for emergencies and the powerlessness of human beings against nature if they are not prepared. In addition to protecting yourself, it is very important for each person to expand their knowledge of disaster prevention in order to protect the safety of people around them, such as family and friends. We would like all foreigners living in Tokyo to understand the importance of disaster prevention measures in Japan.

In particular, foreigners are not always familiar with disaster prevention systems and the tools available to you while in Japan may be significantly different from that of your home country, as well as the disaster prevention equipment that is already in your home. It is important to make sure that you have carefully checked the disaster prevention readiness of where you live in Tokyo, when you are at a hotel or while living with a host family. This article will provide knowledge about evacuation and disaster prevention so that the lives of foreigners visiting Japan from abroad will be safer and more secure.

How to use disaster prevention equipment in Japan

Disaster prevention equipment is available everywhere in Japan. Let's make sure we all know in advance where disaster prevention items are located, and what facilities have for disaster prevention in order to be fully prepared.

We will now introduce you to the details about how to use disaster prevention equipment. This information will help foreigners living in Tokyo expand their knowledge of disaster prevention tools. .

・ Fire Extinguisher

If you have a fire extinguisher in your home, or if you have access to a fire extinguisher in your apartment, it is of no use if you don't know how to use it so let's cover the details about how to use a fire extinguisher effectively in the event of an emergency.

  1. Retrieve the fire extinguisher and take it with you to where the fire is (make sure you are at a safe distance). If you are too far away from the source of the fire, you may run out of extinguisher in order to put the fire out, so choose a safe distance, as close to the source of the fire as possible without getting burned or injured.
  2. Remove the fire extinguisher safety pin.
  3. Hold the fire extinguisher with one hand and use the other hand to lift the hose. Hold the hose at the farthest end so that it points directly at the fire. While doing this, be careful to not hold the middle or base of the hose as it may not spray in the direction you want.
  4. After confirming the direction of the hose, squeeze the lever firmly to spray. If the fire extinguisher is heavy and cannot be lifted, place the fire extinguisher on the ground.

These are the basics for using a fire extinguisher. How to use, the distance and how long to spray will vary depending on the type of fire extinguisher available, so check in advance and stay prepared. .

・Oriro (Evacuation Ladder)

We will now cover the details about how to use the "Oriro" or evacuation ladder made by Oriro Co., Ltd., which is often installed on the balconies of buildings and condominiums in Tokyo.

1. Remove the ladder. While doing this, make sure the chain that connects the hang bracket is not twisted and make sure the protruding side of the ladder is facing you.

2. Hold the hang bracket, place the ladder on the outer side of the balcony or window and hang the ladder. Make sure that the protruding side is against the building.

3. When you remove the pin on the top of the ladder and remove the band, the ladder will unfold. * Be sure to check that there are no people standing below the ladder.

4. With your body facing the building, hold on to the handrails and descend with your body as close to the ladder as possible.


・Breakable Balcony Partitions

The partition between apartments on balconies in Tokyo can be easily broken in order to evacuate to a neighboring balcony in case of emergency.

Since it is made basically as a partition, you may need to kick it quite hard to break it in case of an emergency, but you will notice that it has a note that says "break here in case of emergency to evacuate" so have a look and make sure you know where it is. If there is an emergency and you need to evacuate, kick it out with everything you have.

・Emergency Equipment in Elevators

Elevators have a box that contains emergency equipment called the "elevator emergency box" or "disaster emergency box" that is useful if you find yourself trapped in an elevator.

Food, drink, a radio, a flashlights, blankets, and tissues are included to help you in the event of a major earthquake or when you are trapped in an elevator due to a power outage. Some boxes even have AEDs, so use them without hesitation in the event of an emergency.

Of course, not all elevators in Tokyo have these boxes, so be sure to check in advance what disaster supplies are in the elevators you use.


Useful in case of emergency in Tokyo, the "Survival Manual"

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has prepared an English version of a survival manual that can be useful for foreigners visiting Japan.

Information on what to do in the event of an earthquake in Tokyo, how to collect information during a disaster, information on consultation agencies for foreigners and a preparation checklists for earthquakes, etc. are included. Details such as how to use a fire extinguisher as mentioned above are also carefully explained in English, so we recommend that you read it when you have time.


In Conclusion

In this article, we have shared important knowledge about evacuation and disaster prevention that is important for keeping you safe while in Japan. Extremely important for those living in Tokyo and for those who are planning a visit.

In order to reduce the damage caused by disasters, it is important that everyone have a thorough awareness of disaster prevention. Protecting yourself is the most important. Regardless of your country of origin or whether you are acquainted or not, it is necessary for you to survive in order to be able to help others. Whether you are in a building or not, you should be sure of the actions you have to take first according to the situation. Double check how to use disaster prevention tools and make sure you have a good understanding of what is available to help you survive in advance.

We hope that this information will help you to be prepared and in turn, will help you stay calm in event of a disaster so you can take the appropriate actions to protect yourself and your family and friends.