• Easy Living in Kyoto - In case of Trouble or Emergency - Emergency and Disaster

Easy Living in Kyoto

Ⅰ In case of Trouble or Emergency

2.Emergency and Disaster

2-1 Making Emergency Calls







<When making an emergency call>
*Emergency calls are answered 24 hours a day.
*Making an emergency call is free of charge.
*When you make a call, do not panic and give the following information:

(1)What happened. (Accident, incident, illness, fire)
(2)Location (Your address or a noticiable landmark)
(3)Your name and phone number

*When you hear the siren of the fire engine, come out and guide it.
*Neither a \10 coin nor a telephone card is necessary when calling from a public telephone. Press the red button on a public telephone, and dial 110 or 119. When using a digital public telephone, pick up the receiver and dial.
*When making an emergency call from a mobile phone, be sure to give the mobile phone number. It may be necessary for the police or the fire department to call you back to check details of the location or circumstances. In addition, after you make the call, do not switch off the phone and remain at the scene. If you are driving, stop the car in a safe place before making the call.

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2-2 Accidents and Incidents

Traffic Accidents

◆If you are a victim
*Report the accident to the police immediately. If the accident is not reported to the police, the Kotsu Jiko Shomei-sho (Proof of a Traffic Accident), which is required to receive insurance payments, may not be obtainable.
*Confirm the address and name of the driver, the owner of the vehicle (when the driver is not the owner), the vehicle registration number, the date of insurance coverage and the name of the insurance company.
*Even if you think your injury is minor, get a medical check-up.

◆If you cause an accident
*Give first-aid to the victim and call an ambulance. In addition, take necessary measures to avoid causing danger on the road.
*When you cause a traffic accident while driving a car or riding a bicycle, you must notify the police.

Lost and Found

◆Lost money and valuables
*If you lose money or valuables, report it as soon as possible to the nearest police box or station.
*If you lose money or valuables in a train, taxi or in a department store, immediately ask around the people working there.
*If a lost article is found and returned, by law you are required to give the finder a reward equivalent to 5 to 20% of its value.

◆For articles left behind in taxis, buses or subways
Traffic Bureau Inquiry Office (city bus)
Karasuma-Oike Station, Information Center (subway)
Taxi Lost and Found Center

◆Lost articles which must be reported
Certificate of Foreign Resident Registration:
  Receive a “Certificate of Loss” issued by the police and report with it to the ward office where you are registered.
  Receive a “Certificate of Loss” issued by the police, and report the loss to your Embassy or Consulate.
Credit card:
  Immediately notify the appropriate card company.
Cash card:
  Immediately notify the appropriate bank.

◆On finding a lost article
*If you find a lost article, report it to the nearest police box or station as soon as possible.
*If you find a lost article on transportation or in a department store, hand it to the nearest staff member.
*Be sure to receive a receipt of claim in either case.

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2-3 Injury and Sudden Illness

Calling for an ambulance (Dial 119)

In case of sudden illness or serious injury, call for an ambulance by dialing 119 (no prefix). Dial 119 in the same way (no prefix) when using a mobile phone. In cases of minor injury or normal illness, use a taxi or car etc., to get to a hospital or clinic.
When calling for an ambulance, have the sick or injured person’s health insurance card or hospital/ clinic card ready as much as possible before the ambulance arrives.

In case of illness on holidays or at night

Please use emergency medical facilities.
See“Hospitals Open at Night and on Holidays”

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2-4 Fire

Fire department (Dial 119)

If a fire breaks out, shout out to let the neighbors know and contact the fire department for a fire engine by dialing 119 (no prefix). Dial the same number 119 (no prefix) when using a mobile phone. It is dangerous to try to extinguish the fire by yourself.

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2-5 Earthquakes

Everyday measures

(1) Check where the safest place in your house/apartment is.
(2) Store enough drinking water: 2-3 liters per person per day for three days.
(3) Prepare a rucksack or emergency bag and store it in a place familiar to everyone in the family.

Typical items to put in the rucksack or emergency bag
A flashlight, batteries, drinking water, food, money (including some ¥10 coins for using a public telephone), copies of personal identification, passports, valuables such as bankbooks, matches/lighters, candles, a first-aid kit (those requiring regular medication should not forget it), a helmet or protective headwear, cotton work gloves, socks and underwear, winter clothes, etc.

(4) Use devices to secure furniture and prevent it from falling over.
(5) Use shatter-prevention film on windows, cupboards, shelves, etc. where glass is used.
(6) Make a note of emergency contact telephone numbers and the details of contact information of those who can communicate with you in your language.
(7) Confirm where your nearest temporary emergency shelter and hospital are and how to get there. Inquire at Disaster Prevention Society or Neighborhood Association (chonai-kai) in your area to confirm the whereabouts of your nearest temporal emergency shelter.
List of Kyoto City Regional Refuge Area


When an earthquake happens

(1)Ensure your personal safety.
    Your life is the most important thing. When an earthquake happens, first ensure your personal safely.
(2)Don’t be panicked and turn off the fire immediately.
    Shout out to each other to turn off the fire. Switch off all appliances, such as cooking and heating appliances.
(3)Secure an exit.
    Sometimes doors and windows are deformed and won’t open during an earthquake. Open doors and windows a little to ensure an escape route, especially so if you are living in an apartment or a housing complex.
(4)Extinguish fire first if a fire breaks out.
    Shout out ‘Fire’ and get neighbors’ help. Try to put out the fire when it is small and manageable.
(5)Do not rush out of a building.
    When going out of a building, don’t be panicked and watch out for falling objects such as glass or roof tiles.
(6)Do not walk narrow streets, near channels, cliffs or along rivers.
    Especially watch out for walls, gateposts, vending machines, etc. because they can fall down easily.
(7)Watch out for landfalls and tsunami.
    If you are near a mountain or by ocean and feel tremors, prepare to evacuate quickly.
(8)Evacuate on foot with minimum luggage
    Evacuate to designated evacuation places on foot. Do not use a car or a motorcycle.
(9)Help each other for emergency relief activities.
    Help the elderly, physically handicapped or injured people in cooperation.
(10)Obtain accurate information and watch out for aftershocks.
    Do not be bothered by rumors or false information. Obtain accurate information via TV or radio.

◆After an earthquake
 If you find you cannot return to your residence after a big earthquake, inform your country’s embassy or consulate, your place of employment and school of the safety and whereabouts of both you and your family

◆Saigai-yo Dengon Dial Service (Dial 171)
(Telephone message service in times of disaster) When a disaster occurs, it is often difficult to make telephone calls to the affected area. In such circumstances use the Saigai-yo Dengon Dial service (telephone message service in times of disaster). People outside the area can listen to recorded messages made by those in the affected area regarding their safety, etc. It is like a voice recorded message board. Similarly, people outside the area can send messages to people in the affected area. Notification of the introduction of the NTT Saigai-yo Dengon Dial service is made on the radio and television, etc. Use the service by dialing 171 and follow the guidance in Japanese to record or listen to messages.

◆Please sign up for Kyoto City International Community Center’s “Multilingual Useful Information” mailing list. You can receive information helpful to foreigners on a routine basis and, in times of disaster, important information is transmitted via email.

◆Multi-language disaster prevention site for mobile telephones
Information concerning safety measures for earthquakes, typhoons and other disasters can be accessed from personal computers and mobile phones. This service is available at no cost. Information is available in 10 languages (English, Chinese, Korean, North Korean dialect, Portuguese, Tagalog, Spanish, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese, and simplified Japanese.).

Kyoto City Civic Center for Disaster Prevention


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2-6 Typhoons and Floods

Being prepared for typhoons and floods

Typhoons, heavy rains or rainstorms can cause tremendous damages. Obtain information via weather forecast, etc. to minimize damages.
1.Pay attention to information provided by radio, TV, etc. on typhoons or heavy rains.
2.Do not go out unnecessarily. If you are out of the house, try to get back home soon.
3.Inspect around your house. If there is something which can be blown away by wind, fix it firmly or bring it into the house.
4.Window glass, etc. should be reinforced with gum tape or vinyl tape. If there are shutters, they should be closed.
5.Be prepared for a blackout. Have a flashlight or candles ready including extra batteries.
6.Prepare an emergency bag for quick and smooth evacuation.
7.If you live in a lowland area or in an area where flooding is a possibility, move furniture and electrical appliances as high as possible.
8.Move the elderly and physically handicapped people to a safe place.
9.Turn off the gas at the main.
10.Confirm evacuation places and evacuation routes with your families.

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2-7 Gas Leaks

Incorrectly using gas is very dangerous. If you find a gas malfunction, shut off the gas and open windows. Under no circumstances should you light a fire or cause a spark. Do not touch the ventilation fan or any electric switches.
Because propane is heavier than air, sweep out the gas if possible. Contact the nearest gas company even if it is a holiday or night time. In the case of propane gas, contact information is printed on the gas cylinder.
See “Signing up for Water, Electricity and Gas utilities” P. 72 

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2-8 Risai Shomei-sho (Disaster Victim Certificate)

It is necessary to have a Risai Shomei-sho (Disaster Victim Certificate) when applying for tax deductions or a tax exemption for victims of fires, storms or floods. Application forms for a Risai Shomei-sho may be obtained at each city, ward, town or village office or at a fire department.

II-1. Status of Residence(Visa)

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