Japan, an archipelago of 6,852 islands, is situated on the convergence of many oceanic and continental plates in the Pacific Ocean. Japan is rich in natural resources. An abundance of volcanoes means lots of hot springs to enjoy all around the country. And along with volcanoes come earthquakes.

It is useful to know that the Japanese use the shindo scale to measure the seismic activity or degree of shaking in an earthquake rather than the Richter magnitude scale, which determines the energy being released by the earthquake.

We are holding an evacuation drill every semester, so please take it seriously.


During an earthquake:

  • Stay calm.
  • Crawl under a sturdy table or brace yourself in a door jamb.
  • When you feel the first shock, immediately turn off any flame or heat source that could cause a fire. Also, open a door or window to secure an exit.
  • Keep away from windows; don’t use elevators.
  • In a large store, theater, or other building, follow the employees.
  • If you are outside, get to an open area, but avoid driving.


  • Confirm the situation.
  • Give first aid.
  • Be prepared for aftershocks.


If you want to live and study in Japan, do as the Japanese do: learn how you can best be prepared in the event of an earthquake by reading the information in these helpful websites. The key, though, is to *have a plan.*

Red Cross Earthquake Safety Checklist (pdf)

Red Cross Tsunami Safety Checklist (pdf)

FEMA on Earthquakes

National Geographic Earthquake Safety Tips

Disaster Preparedness Checklist for Americans in Japan (Embassy of the U.S. in Tokyo)

Earthquake Safety Tips: How to Survive an Earthquake

Earthquake Safety Tips for Travelers in Japan (eTN Global Travel Industry News)

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earthquake Preparedness

Earthquake Survival Guide: What to do Before, During, and After a Quake

Talking about Disaster: Earthquakes

 Earthquake Preparedness FAQ