Do you have an emergency kit ready? 72 Hours has an extensive general information on what do have and do in case of an earthquake or other disaster in English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and Vietnamese. Please also check the emergency information on your town website/guide or the translation of that information.)
Some tips from me:
- Please, please, please, when you are preparing a first-aid kit, USE LATEX ALTERNATIVES for gloves, bandages, etc. Many people are allergic to latex. If you find someone unconscious, check for a medical alert bracelet or card before you cause a potentially deadly allergic reaction.
- Nitrile gloves (the blue ones) (nitoriru tebukuro, ニトリル手袋) are readily available in Japanese home-goods stores.
- Latex allergy: ratekkusu arerugii, ラテックスアレルギー. Many Japanese people do not understand the word latex, as it is a medical term, so you can clarify by saying rubber [gomu, ゴム].
- Have a bilingual medical alert card stating your allergies, medications, and emergency contacts on your person and in your kit.
- Have your JET emergency information information in your kit and your JET Diary on you. (You might want to copy the list of medical terms from your diary to have in your kit, just in case.)
- Have copies of your foreign registration card, driver’s licenses, passport, and credit card.
The emergency shelters for your town/city may be one of the schools you visit or the town hall where you work.
Shelters are marked with 緊急避難所 (kinkyuu hinan jo). Please ask your supervisors and sempai where the closest ones are to your workplace and apartment.
Alerts on Your Cell Phone
If you hear a horrifying, sleep-disrupting buzz on your phone, you have received an emergency alert. This alert may not be for your region. (I got ones for Niigata, for example.) If you do not read Japanese well, please talk to one of the CIRs or your friendly neighborhood bilingual and ask them to text you back when this happens. Or, if you have access to the internet, check the English page of the Japan Meteorological Agency.
If you have Ishikawa-specific or expat-oriented advice, please comment so we can update this post.