About evacuation sites
In view of reports of the Great East Japan Earthquake, etc., you may be worried that Japan is a country with many disasters. However, taking such reality into account, proper preparation and training are carried out. Here, we will introduce the mechanism of evacuation sites that are maintained throughout Japan as one of such countermeasures.
First of all, schoolyards of elementary and junior high schools and parks in town are designated as "temporary meeting places" or "temporary evacuation shelters" when a disaster occurs. When a fire, an earthquake, etc. occurs, and an order of evacuation is issued from the government office or the police, we will first go to this temporary meeting place or temporary evacuation shelter. In case of emergency, people flow to those places, so it's better to follow that flow. Of course, evacuees are is not distinguished by nationality or resident card, and you can go to any meeting place.
After that, if further evacuation is necessary due to some circumstances, we will evacuate to an "evacuation place" with wider space. Again, as judgment is made on the whole people gathered there, it can be said that it is wise to follow the surroundings. Large-scale parks, housing complexes, universities, etc. are registered as "evacuation places" in various places.
In addition, in preparation for the case where your residence or place of stay is damaged and you cannot return to your home, you can live for a while in "evacuation centers" where you can receive support. I hear that there are 2937 places in Tokyo, so I think there is a little sense of security. Many of these utilizes gymnasiums at local elementary and junior high schools. Depending on the circumstances of the disaster, we make use of the lessons and reflections of disasters so far and strive to pay attention to the circumstances and privacy as much as possible, such as elderly people, pregnant women, and foreign tourists.
In evacuation centers, anyone can receive free support regardless of nationality or presence of resident cards. Water, food, and necessary information are gathered here, and there might be volunteer interpreters and others. If you are unfortunately injured, you can also receive minimal treatment and hospital referrals at evacuation centers. If you are having trouble with the place of stay due to a disaster, do not panic, do not get too depressed, and please rely entirely on this 'evacuation center.'