【Inquiries】Disaster Prevention Planning Division, Chief of Disaster Prevention Planning(Phone: 3498-9409)

Japan has frequent earthquake tremors. The Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami that struck in 2011 caused extensive damage and loss, mainly in the Tohoku region. It has been predicted that a major earthquake will strike the metropolitan Tokyo area as well.
Earthquakes strike without warning. There is nothing we can do to eliminate earthquakes and they are difficult to forecast accurately. However, damage can be kept to a minimum with advance preparation and efficient action when an earthquake actually strikes. Most of the casualties caused by earthquakes involve fires, along with homes collapsing and furniture toppling over when there are tremors. To protect yourself and your family, please become familiar with the disaster prevention measures you should undertake on a regular basis.

Disaster Prevention Planning Division, Chief of Disaster Prevention Planning
Phone: 3498-9409

Regular precautions

  1. Keep fire extinguishers and water for firefighting ready at hand. Keep fire extinguishers on hand and know how to use them.
  2. Keep your home safe.
    Conduct safety checks in your home for earthquake resistance and use braces to prevent furniture from toppling over.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the location of your local temporary gathering site, evacuation site and temporary shelter.
  4. Prepare an emergency backpack of valuables and supplies to take with you.
    Prepare a minimum of one day's supply of emergency food, and if possible, enough supplies to last for three days.
  5. Gather family members together and discuss what you will do in case of an emergency.
    Assign tasks to each family member and decide upon places to meet and communication methods.
  6. Participate in disaster preparation drills.
    Learn the appropriate action to take in the event an earthquake strikes.

Shibuya City makes available fire extinguishers and disaster prevention equipment. There is also a program to install furniture braces for the elderly and disabled. Please call for more information.

In case of an earthquake

What to do if an earthquake strikes

At home
・ Make a habit of being on the safe side, even during slight tremors.
・ After the tremors subside, turn off all sources of heat and flames.
・ Do not immediately rush outdoors.
・ Secure an exit by opening windows and doors.
・ Cooperate with your neighbors and help each other.
・ To avoid being trapped, do not use elevators.
・ Take an emergency backpack and evacuate if necessary.
・ Wear comfortable clothes when evacuating.

In a crowded shopping area
・ Beware of falling glass and billboards; shield your head with whatever you are carrying.
・ Stay away from buildings and utility poles.

In an underground shopping area
・ Stay near a big, sturdy pillar, etc., and wait until the tremors subside.
・ Calmly follow the instructions from employees of the facility.
・ If a fire breaks out, cover your nose and mouth with a moistened handkerchief, etc., stay low, and head for the exit along the wall.

In a train
・ It is dangerous to exit a train recklessly; follow the instructions of train company staff.

If you are driving
・ Instead of slamming on your brakes—which can cause a traffic accident—slowly guide your car to the left side of the road, and park.
・ Exit your car, leaving the key in the ignition so that the vehicle can be moved if necessary.

To avoid confusion during a disaster, it is wise to take action after listening to reliable information sources such as the radio and the City Office.

If a Tokai Earthquake Warning is issued

A Tokai Earthquake with an epicenter in Suruga Bay is anticipated. The national government has coordinated large-scale surveillance and forecast programs, and an official warning will be issued if a major earthquake is forecast. If the warning is issued, obtain accurate information without panicking and take action calmly. The City Office will make announcements via disaster prevention administration radio. The alert is also announced by police car and fire truck sirens.

  • When at school
    Junior high school students should return home, while kindergarten and elementary school children should remain under their school’s care until their parents or guardians come to pick them up.
  • Food and sundries
    Department stores, supermarkets and retailers that offer necessary daily life supplies will be asked to continue operations as much as practicable.
  • Use of telephones
    Everyone will be asked to refrain from using telephones as much as possible.
  • Trains
    Trains will remain in operation depending upon each area's specific circumstances.
  • Electric power, gas and water
    Public utilities will continue to supply their usual services.
  • Road traffic
    Use of motor vehicles will be restricted to trucks that transport daily goods, buses and taxis. The speed of traffic will also be restricted. Please refrain from using private motor vehicles.
  • Financial institutions
    In principle, financial institutions will operate as usual.
  • Hospitals
    Hospitals will make every effort to handle patients.
  • Theaters, high-rise buildings and underground malls
    Businesses will be asked to close in order to avoid panic and confusion.

Broadcasts in foreign languages

NHK offers emergency disaster broadcasts in English through its bilingual TV broadcasts and through Radio 2 broadcasts (693KHz).

Evacuation procedures

If there is no danger of your home collapsing or of a spreading fire, then there is no need to evacuate. Check on your neighbors and conduct rescue and initial fire extinguishing activities. Be careful of secondary disasters caused by aftershocks, and continue to take measures to ensure personal safety. Start evacuating procedures if there is a threat of danger where you are, or if instructions are given via the city’s disaster prevention radio.

  • Temporary gathering sites
    These are locations where people gather temporarily in order to assess the extent of danger and prepare to go to the evacuation site. Temporary gathering sites include such locations as municipal elementary and junior high schools, and municipal parks. First, meet your neighbors at this location.
  • Evacuation sites
    This is a place to evacuate to in order to escape from such dangers as spreading fires caused by earthquakes. There are eight evacuation sites, including Yoyogi Park and Shinjuku Gyoen Garden. If danger spreads near the temporary gathering site, then evacuation to these sites will be conducted in groups.
  • Temporary shelters
    After any threat of fire has passed, these shelters function as temporary living quarters for those whose homes have collapsed or burned down. Temporary shelters include the gymnasium of municipal elementary and junior high schools.

Evacuation sites by applicable area

Meiji Jingu Shrine / Yoyogi Park

All areas of Shibuya except those noted below

Aoyama Gakuin University / Jissen Women’s Gakuen University

Sections of Shibuya 4-chome, Higashi 1- to 4-chome

University of the Sacred Heart

Hiroo 1- to 5-chome

Meiji Jingu Gaien

Sections of Sendagaya 1-chome, 2-chome, sections of Jingumae 2-chome and 3-chome


Sendagaya 5- to 6-chome

Naka-Meguro Park

Ebisu-Minami 2- to 3-chome, Ebisu-Nishi 1- to 2-chome, Daikanyamacho, Sarugakucho, Hachiyamacho, Uguisudanicho

Ebisu Garden Place

Ebisu 1- to 4-chome, Ebisu-Minami 1-chome

Tokyo University/Komabano Park

Maruyamacho, Shinsencho, Shoto 2-chome

Shinjuku-Chuo Park/High-rise Buildings

Honmachi 3-chome

Stayed-in Area in Shibuya

Shibuya 1- to 3-chome, Sakuragaokacho, Nanpeidaicho, Dogenzaka 1- to 2-chome, Shoto 1-chome, Udagawacho, sections of Jinnan 1- to 2-chome, sections of Jingumae 5- to 6-chome

Shibuya City Disaster Prevention Map

Shibuya City Disasters Prevention Map