Tropical cyclones, or typhoons (台風 / taifū), like their Atlantic Ocean hurricane cousins, are massive clusters of cumulonimbus clouds with cyclonic rotation that cause strong winds and large amounts of rain, and can carry enormous destructive potential. Keep an ear open for talk of taifū, check weather forecasts to find out if one is on its way, and prepare accordingly.
- Prepare a flashlight, radio, and batteries in case of electrical blackout
- Pay attention to weather information on radio or television, and the Japan Meteorological Agency website (see below)
- Reinforce windows and be sure to close any shutters if you have them
- Bring objects at risk of being blown away (such as potted plants or laundry poles) indoors, or fasten them securely
- Do not go outdoors unnecessarily
- In areas at risk of flooding, move household goods to a higher location
- Prepare food, drinking water, and medical supplies
- Prepare valuables for quick evacuation
- In at-risk areas, be prepared for quick evacuation at all times
- Confirm the locations of evacuation areas beforehand at your local ward office, or at the City of Nagoya website
- Be alert in case Evacuation Information is issued (see below)
Keeping an eye on the Typhoon
Japan Meteorological Agency Website 気象庁ウェブサイト
The JMA website (https://www.jma.go.jp/jma/indexe.html) is a great resource for keeping an eye on cyclones and related risks, with an English interface.
Evacuation Information 避難情報について
Areas at risk of flooding due to heavy rain, etc. are indicated in the Flood Hazard Map (洪水・内水ハザードマップ) for each ward, issued by the City of Nagoya (available in Japanese here). Use the maps to familiarize yourself with the flood risk for the area around your home, and think about where to evacuate if the need arises.
Residents will be notified of Evacuation Information (hinan jōhō / 避難情報) by TV and radio, mobile phone messaging services, the official City of Nagoya website (www.city.nagoya.jp), emergency loudspeakers (announcements and sirens*), loudspeaker vehicles and the local disaster relief headquarters. As Evacuation Information is issued in Japanese, it is important to familiarize yourself with the Japanese terms for the different kinds of Evacuation Information that can be issued.
*Sirens will sound only in the case of an Evacuation Advisory or Evacuation Order. (Siren will sound for 3 seconds, followed by a 2-second pause, and repeat.)
Emergency Broadcast Telephone Service 同報無線テレホンサービス
When announcements over the emergency speaker system are difficult to hear or difficult to understand, you can use your phone and call to check the content of the broadcast. For more information, click here.
Evacuation Information and action to take
Under the Revised Guidelines Concerning Evacuation Advisories, etc. issued by the Cabinet Office in March, 2019, information issued by local governments and the corresponding measures to be taken by residents have been revised into 5 Alert Levels (keikai reberu / 警戒レベル), to clarify the response at each level and to make information easier for residents to understand intuitively.
*Early Advisory Information (早期注意情報, Alert Level 1) and Advisories (注意報, Alert Level 2) are issued by the Meteorological Observatory, while Evacuation Information corresponding to Alert Levels 3, 4, and 5 is issued by the municipality (Nagoya City).
〇Alert Level 3 - Notice to Prepare for Evacuation / Commence Evacuation for Elderly and Disabled People - 避難準備・高齢者等避難開始 (Hinan Junbi / Kōreisha-tō Hinan Kaishi)
This notice is issued to enable residents to prepare in advance to evacuate.
Elderly people and those who require more time to evacuate should commence evacuation.
Other people should pay attention to weather information, and make preparations to evacuate.
〇Alert Level 4 - Evacuation Advisory - 避難勧告 (Hinan Kankoku)
This notice is issued to prompt residents to evacuate due to the possibility of the area being affected by disaster.
All people should evacuate quickly.
If moving to a designated evacuation area seems dangerous, evacuate to a nearby safe location or high place indoors.
〇Alert Level 4 - Evacuation Order (Urgent) - 避難指示（緊急） (Hinan Shiji [Kinkyū])
This notice is issued to prompt (or further prompt) residents to evacuate urgently when the risk of harm is high.
Finish evacuating urgently.
This applies not only to designated evacuation areas, but also to those seeking refuge in a nearby safe location or high place indoors.
〇Alert Level 5 - Disaster Occurrence Information - 災害発生情報 (Saigai Hassei Jōhō)
Issued when a disaster situation is determined to be already underway.
Take action to protect your life and those around you.
Check the NIC website for Evacuation Information for Nagoya City
When Evacuation Information is issued by the City of Nagoya, Nagoya International Center will publish the same information in Easy Japanese, English, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Vietnamese, and Nepali on the NIC website, and on Facebook.
- Evacuation Information on the NIC website: http://www.nic-nagoya.or.jp/evacuation/
- NIC on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NagoyaInternationalCenter