As we all saw recently in Fukushima, in March of 2011, and in Kobe in January of 1995, catastrophic earthquakes and tsunamis are a real threat to Japan.
Just about every day there is at least one tremor in the country but fortunately, large dangerous earthquakes are relatively rare, but when they do strike they can be deadly.
The Japanese have been brought up with these natural occurrences. Children from a very young age are taught what to do in the case of an emergency. It is usually the tourist who panics or is scared of the minor tremor which will generally go unnoticed by the Japanese.
But as we have seen in Kobe and the horrific 8.9 magnitude earthquake off Japan’s Tohoku region in March of 2011
earthquakes and follow-up tsunamis can happen without warning, anywhere anytime.
Behavior During An Earthquake
Japan has stringent building regulations which make many of the new buildings and subways some of the safest places to be during an earthquake.
Water, gas, and power can be cut during a quake so it’s best to avoid naked flames.
It also is not a bad idea to save as much water as you can, even filling the bathtub is a fantastic idea as there may be difficulty obtaining fresh water after a serious quake.
If you are in your hotel during a quake, it would be best to follow the directions of the hotel’s staff.
Japanese hotels will have a safety guide in your room that you should be familiar with in case of an emergency, also, take note of the location of the room's torch that is generally provided in case of a power outage.
Beware of tsunami
It is essential to escape low lying land after an earthquake as been shown following the 2011 quake, massive waves from the resulting tsunami can travel several kilometers inland at an incredible pace and force.
Earthquake Safety Procedures
Here is what you should during an earthquake
If You Are Inside a Building
*Hide under the nearest sturdy object and hold onto it until the shaking stops. If you are not near a sturdy object, make yourself as small as possible and cover your head and neck.
*If you stand in a doorway, brace yourself against the frame and watch out for a swinging door or other people.
*Avoid windows, filing cabinets, bookcases, and other heavy objects that could fall or shatter.
*Stay undercover until the shaking stops, and then leave the building.
*If it is safe to do so, stabilize any laboratory procedure that could lead to further damage, such as turning off burners or electrical equipment.
*Evacuate the building if told to do so by building staff or emergency responders.
If You Are Outside a Building
*Move away from trees, signs, buildings, electrical poles, and wires.
*Protect your head with your arms from falling bricks, glass, plaster, or other debris.
*Move away from fire and smoke.
*Proceed to your designated evacuation meeting point if safe to do so.
*Stay alert for further instructions.