Response to Disasters(English)

Response to Disasters(English)

In the Event of a Disaster

When a disaster strikes, it is difficult to respond calmly because of the chaotic situation. Regularly confirm the actions taken to protect you in case of an emergency. A split-second decision could mean the difference between life and death.

Collect Information

When a disaster occurs and creates confusion, there will be a flood of information. Try to obtain correct information and act calmly.

Disaster Prevention Administrative Radio

The municipal office has installed 200 outdoor loudspeakers at every 500 meters and indoor radio receivers for household use throughout the entire city. The disaster information will be broadcast over those outdoor speakers and indoor radio speakers immediately.

Information Cars

Fire trucks and municipal information cars make the rounds in each block of the city to disseminate information.


Disaster information is provided on the webpage (Disaster and Emergency Information Web Page). *In addition, communications companies such as NTT provide a “disaster message service” in the event of a disaster such as an earthquake, when many phone calls to the affected area are made to confirm the safety of persons.


In case of a major disaster, it will be necessary to evacuate for safety. If there is any danger, take refuge immediately without trying to make a judgment based on personal opinions.

In Hitachinaka City, 61 sites are designated as evacuation shelters. Check the location of the nearest evacuation site from your home in advance.

How to Evacuate

While points to note in evaluating may differ depending on the type of disaster, the principal point is to act “calmly and composedly.”

Points to note in evacuating (common to all emergency situations)
  1. Turn off electricity at the circuit breaker and gas at the mains. Lock up the house.
  2. Wear safe and loose clothing.
  3. Prioritize the evacuation of people in need of assistance in the event of a disaster, including the sick, the elderly, and the disabled.
  4. Leave a message for your family members that are away from home (Give your contact information to your friends and relatives)
  5. Take nothing but emergency supplies.
  6. Escape on foot. Never use cars.
  7. Get together with your neighbors and act in a group.
Evacuation procedures (particular to each type of emergency situation)
Nuclear disasters
  • When given instructions to take shelter indoors, stay inside. It is important to avoid exposure to the outside air by closing doors and windows and turning off ventilators.When given instructions to take shelter in a concrete building, evacuate with your body clothed in apparel such as a raincoat and with your mouth and nose covered by a well-wrung wet cloth such as a towel to avoid inhaling radioactive substances.
Earthquakes and tsunami
  • When going to a shelter, avoid narrow streets and do not walk near walls. Put on a helmet etc. Find out the route from your house to the evacuation site in advance.If there is a risk of a tsunami, go to higher ground away from the ocean and rivers.
Wind and flood disasters
  • When a flood starts, it will be almost impossible to know what lies under the water. Use a pole as a walking stick to ensure your safety and prevent you from falling in a ditch.It is said that male adults can wade in up to thigh-high water and female adults in up to knee-high water. When you find it difficult to go to a shelter, it is better to wait on high ground for rescue.

Measures against Nuclear Disaster

Safety measures are taken based on strict regulations at nuclear power facilities. However, at the time of an accident at a nuclear power plant, when it causes a risk of radioactive contamination in the surrounding area, it is important to enter a house or a building and stay there. Then, follow the instructions of the municipal office and other authorities.

Management System for Nuclear Disasters
Act on Nuclear Emergency
  • Act on Special Measures Concerning Nuclear Emergency Preparedness
    This is a law introduced after the criticality accident at Tokai Nuclear Fuel Plant to provide precautionary measures in case of nuclear disasters and response measures during emergency situations, etc.
Declaration of Emergency
  • Declaration of Nuclear Emergency
    This is to be issued by the prime minister as the seriousness of a nuclear accident escalates.
Off-Site Center
  • Ibaraki Prefecture Nuclear Off-Site Center
    This is located in Nishi-Jusan-Bugyo, Hitachinaka City, as a facility that serves as the center for emergency response measures: In case of nuclear disasters, people concerned, including national, prefectural and municipal officials and nuclear operators, are to assemble, and a national headquarters for nuclear emergency response and a joint council for nuclear emergency response are to be established in the center.
Protective Measures
  1. Take shelter indoors
    A shielding effect and air-tightness of buildings can protect you from radioactive substances and radiation released into the air.
  2. Take shelter in a concrete building
    If the situation of an accident extends beyond the protection of taking shelter indoors, evacuate to a concrete building, which has a more protective effect against radiation. In the city, concrete-built public facilities located within a short-time evacuation distance are designated as shelters.
    Concrete-built shelters are shown in the attached list of evacuation sites.
  3. Evacuate from the affected area
    Residents in the area of protective measures are to be evacuated to designated shelters outside of the area. Go to a specified place in the safe area, depending on the disaster situation.
Iodine Tablets

Radioactive iodine, one of the radioactive substances, can be accumulated in the thyroid and lead to a risk of thyroid disorders if it is absorbed in the body through breathing and eating.

Iodine tablets can prevent this problem. Taking iodine tablets in advance raises the level of iodine in the blood to prevent the thyroid from absorbing radioactive iodine.

Taking iodine tablets before or immediately after radioactive iodine is absorbed is reported to be the most effective.

Measures against Earthquakes and Tsunami

In the Event of an Earthquake

When a major earthquake takes place, it is difficult to act calmly. Actually, many people said that they had not been able to do anything in the Great East Japan Earthquake or the Great Hanshin Earthquake. Remember the response procedures so that you can take appropriate actions in the event of an earthquake.

At the time of an earthquake
  • Protect yourself
  • Put out any fires
  • Secure a means of escape
From one to two minutes after an earthquake
  • Make sure of the safety of your family members
  • Keep emergency supplies handy
  • (Immediately evacuate when there is a risk of a tsunami)
Three minutes after an earthquake
  • Confirm the safety in the neighborhood
  • Stay alert for aftershocks
Five minutes after an earthquake
  • Start evacuating if there is a risk of the house collapsing
  • Participate in firefighting and rescue activities in the neighborhood (Do not endanger yourself)
  • Collect information of the disaster and damage mainly through self-organizing groups for disaster prevention
  • Avoid collapsed houses and cracked buildings
  • Gather information (Do not be misled by rumors)

Then, collect as much information as possible and respond calmly

In the Event of a Tsunami

In case of a tsunami, there is no way but to “evacuate” to protect yourself. When a strong earthquake occurs, immediately start escaping to higher ground away from rivers and the ocean.

When an earthquake occurs at a distant location, there is a danger of a tsunami even if you do not feel the tremor.

If a tsunami advisory or a tsunami warning is issued, people near the ocean or rivers should evacuate immediately.

Repeated tsunamis may occur. Stay away from the coast until tsunami warnings and advisories are lifted.

It is possible to minimize the damage of wind and flood disasters by taking measures to cope with expected situations. Take adequate preventive measures before a disaster occurs.

Pay Attention to the Weather Forecast

Predict floods on the basis of rainfall from typhoon, weather front activities, etc. When there is a risk of a flood, take measures such as evacuating and moving furniture to higher places.

Secure the Outside of the House

Secure dangerous objects such as roof tiles and window panes.

Stay Indoors Unless Necessary

When a typhoon approaches, dangerous objects may come flying towards you or be blown down. You can avoid such dangers by refraining from going out unless it is absolutely necessary.

Stop Floods

Residents in areas vulnerable to damage due to heavy rain, such as riversides, should prepare sand-bags and water-bags.

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