If you do have the misfortune to experience more than a minor rumble, follow the safety procedures listed below:

  • Extinguish any fires and turn off electrical appliances.
  • Open any doors leading out of the room you’re in, as they often get jammed shut, blocking your exit.
  • Stay away from windows because of splintering glass. If you have time, draw the curtains to contain the glass.
  • Don’t rush outside (many people are injured by falling masonry), but get under something solid, such as a ground-floor doorway, or a desk.
  • If you are outside when the quake hits, head for the nearest park or other open space.
  • If the earthquake occurs at night, make sure you’ve got a torch (all hotels, ryokan, etc provide flashlights in the rooms).
  • When the tremors have died down, go to the nearest open space, taking your documents and other valuables with you. It’s also a good idea to take a cushion or pillow to protect your head against falling glass.
  • Eventually, make your way to the designated neighbourhood emergency centre and get in touch with your embassy.

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