How to find an evacuation shelter near you and when to evacuate

There are 5 levels in Japan’s disaster warning system.

You should evacuate when your local government has issued a LEVEL 4 advisory.

If you are an elderly person, you should evacuate when your local government has issued a LEVEL 3 advisory.

How can I get evacuation advisories?

・Evacuation advisories are issued in English on media such as NHK, Armed Forces radio, and by text messages to your phone.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) Official Site also has up-to-date advisory information color-coded to the chart above. Use the map on the page to navigate your prefecture and city.

If you are living in Tokyo, you can check Tokyo Disaster Prevention Information Portal Site, which can be machine-translated into English and other foreign languages using the buttons on the page. This site has an up-to-date feed of advisories issued by each of the 23 wards and cities in greater Tokyo.

Where should you evacuate?

If you have received an evacuation advisory as a result of Typhoon, you should go to the evacuation area indicated by your local authority. This will most likely be an Evacuation Site or Designated Shelter.

Temporary Evacuation Area(ichiji hinan basho)(一時避難場所)

For example, school grounds, small parks, temple grounds and open spaces. Usually used for temporary evacuation following an earthquake.

・Wide Evacuation Area(koiki hinan basho)(広域避難場所)

For example, large parks and university grounds that can accommodate large numbers of people. Usually used for evacuation following large-scale multiple disasters, such as earthquake and fire.

・Evacuation Site or Safety Area(hinan basho)(避難場所)

For example, local parks or public buildings.

・Tsunami Evacuation Area or Site(tsunami hinan basho)(津波避難場所)

Designated areas or buildings deemed sufficient for escaping above the projected level of water unundation.

・Designated Shelter(shitei hinnajo)(指定避難場所)

For examples, public schools and public buildings. These facilities usually will provide shelter, food and water.

How can I find a designated shelter?

For residents of Tokyo city, they offer Tokyo Disaster Prevention MAP on which you can look up evacuation places of each region.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Disaster Prevention Information

In addition, please do a computer search by the words of ” (your place of residence) evacuation shelter” to find out a list of evacuation sites on the website of your municipal office.

Please check and make a visit

More often than not, they just write down the addresses and maps of the evacuation places on their website or guidebooks they issue, and it is difficult to tell exactly where the places are unless you are very familiar with geographical circumstances and the names of schools and parks in your town.

It is also preferable to memorize the names and locations of districts, schools, and parks around. Emergency broadcasting from police or fire stations will inform you of which park you should take refuge at the time of disaster, but it won’t be any use unless you know its locations.

On Evacuation

the following points concerning evacuation;

・Turn off circuit breaker and the gas main before leaving

・Put on well-sized and sturdy shoes

・Keep your possessions to a minimum

・Do not use a car nor bicycle to evacuate

・Take action in a group, together with your family, friends, neighbors when possible.