Japan Guide & Information Japan Guide & Information

UPDATE | August 07, 2020

I do not know when a disaster will occur! What should I do if I have an earthquake or typhoon in Japan?

Earthquakes, typhoons, heavy rain... Various disasters have occurred recently. Japan is a country with many earthquakes. What should we do "before the disaster", not "after the disaster?" In this article, I will introduce what you should prepare and Japanese that you should remember in case of a disaster.

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● What you want to buy now before a disaster occurs

In the event of a disaster, electricity may be cut off and you may not be able to go outside. In such a case, it is safe to have a flashlight (an electric appliance you have) or water. Also, you may not be able to go out for days, so you should have some food. Canned foods, cup ramen, and snacks sold at supermarkets and convenience stores can be left for a long time after they are bought. Food that is convenient in the event of such a disaster is called "emergency food."


If you have a chronic illness, keep your medicines close to you when you sleep, so that you can take them at any time. Things may fall due to an earthquake and other injuries may occur, so be sure to have a banso souvenir.


Now I also sell emergency bags that you can take with you in the event of a disaster or keep them close to yourself. If you buy one, it is recommended because it contains all the necessary items. Please use a search engine such as Google or Yahoo! Japan and search using the words "emergency" and "bosai goods". You can also buy it online.


● Japanese to remember in case of disaster

In March 2011, there was a large earthquake in eastern Japan, which caused a tsunami and caused great damage. Even when asked to run away, some foreigners were having trouble understanding their Japanese.


Even if you are a beginner in Japanese, there are some things you need to remember before a disaster occurs. First of all, the imperative and forbidden forms that appear at the Japanese Language Proficiency Test N4 level are grammars that are often used in emergencies.


● "-tete" is often imperative

For example, "run away" and "run" are imperative, and some may have never heard the Japanese speak imperatively. In the event of a disaster, you may have to hurry to escape. Polite Japanese is long, so we sometimes ask for short expressions and imperatives.


●Let's check prohibited forms along with imperative forms

If you are not familiar with the disaster, you will try to escape immediately, but when you go outside, the window glass of the building may break and you may be injured, or the building may collapse. "Don't go" and "Don't go" are used to mean "Don't go out" and "Don't go", but like the imperative, the forbidden is often used when a disaster occurs.


● A website that explains Japanese necessary for emergencies

Recently, there was a disaster in Kumamoto prefecture. Therefore, there are pamphlets written in Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese for foreigners on the Kumamoto Prefecture website.


Not only people who live in Kumamoto Prefecture, but also Japanese that can be used all over Japan for emergency and what to do are introduced. Please read it.


参考:Disaster prevention pamphlet for foreign residents (easy Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese)


● It's too late after a disaster! Get ready now

With proper preparation, you will be able to act calmly in the event of an earthquake or typhoon. In a major disaster, you may contact someone on your smartphone or lose your internet connection. You need to know what to do to save your life before a disaster occurs.

The person who wrote this article

Rio Wakabayashi

Free writer who likes reading. Born and raised in Osaka and moved to Tokyo in 2010. He writes articles, book reviews, and columns. Currently, while writing, she teaches Japanese to foreigners at a Japanese language school in Tokyo.

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