Seasons and culture of Japan

Earthquakes in Japan

In this article we will take a quick look at what to do in case of a disaster situation caused by an earthquake.  Japan's islands are seismically active, with many volcanos.  Hundreds of earthquakes occur each year, but the vast majority of them are very small and almost undetectable.  However, occasionally a larger earthquake will happen, and it is pretty much guaranteed that during your time living in Japan, you will experience a "house shaker" more than once.  Earthquakes occur with little or no advance warning, and therefore it is best to be prepared in advance.  The Japanese have been living with earthquakes for thousands of years, and have developed very effective emergency procedures, systems, and organizations to deal with earthquake disasters -- called: BO-SAI (防災).  To learn more about what to do after a large earthquake, please take a look at the pamphlet linked below -- it contains lots of valuable information and pointers.  Modern Japanese houses and apartment buildings have been built to withstand earthquakes, so, what will most likely happen is that you will be able to "shelter in place" in your dwelling, but the water, gas, and/or electricity may have stopped.  Therefore, having prepositioned supplies of bottled drinking water and canned & packaged food is important, as well as special equipment to keep your phones charged.  Information, updates, and instructions from Yokosuka Navy Base (CFAY) will be available on CFAY Facebook page (linked below).  If damage to your dwelling is too great, it might be necessary to temporarily move to a local Japanese Emergency Evacuation Center (EEC), HINAN-JO (避難所).  In Yokosuka City, all of the elementary and middle schools are designated as EECs, and if you live far away from the Navy Base, it will likely be safer to use the EEC vice trying to travel across dangerous/damaged areas.  If you would like to know about the EEC closest to where you live, we will be happy to provide that information.  Earthquakes are an unfortunate fact-of-life in Japan, so we hope you can be prepared for when one happens.






-- Earthquake Emergency Procedures:

 ezhisin.pdf (


-- CFAY Yokosuka Facebook page:


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