Emergency Evacuation Backpack for Natural Disasters in Japan

Poste date: Monday, January 29, 2018

Being prepared for emergency evacuation

It is advisable to have an evacuation bag prepared in the event of an emergency evacuation in Japan due to an earthquake, fire, tsunami, lifeline cutoff, etc.

What items are needed for you or your family to survive while waiting to be rescued or for food supplies to arrive if your home becomes no longer livable?

In this short guide we will give you some overall suggestions as to what you might want to pack so that you can be prepared.

We would like to also mention that your choice of items for your emergency evacuation kit might change depending on your surroundings (city, country side, mountains or ocean side.) Any links to any items are only examples of what you could use and are not endorsed by PLAZA HOMES LTD. in anyway. This is not a comprehensive list, only a general guide for assembling a basic emergency bag.


This first thing you will need for your kit will be a backpack. We suggest one that is not only lightweight, but possibly waterproof and has many pockets that will help you organize your kit. Multi compartment bags such as the one pictured below are are good for organizing your supplies. For those with more supplies a hiking backpack might be better option.

One thing often overlooked when preparing an emergency kit, or packing a backpack in genernal, will be the distribution of the contents inside your backpack. It is recommended that you place the heavier items near the back of the backpack (the part closest to you when you are wearing it.) This will make the backpack easier to carry and put less strain on you as well.

Molle BackpackHiking Backpack


Pack enough clothes to have at least one full change of clothes (socks, underwear, shirt and pants.)

Uniqlo cotton socksUniqlo t-shirt


Pack dry food with a long shelf life such as instant ramen, dehydrated food, canned foods, or snacks (that also have a long shelf life.) If the aformentioned items prove to be too bulky and difficult to carry, an alternative would be energy bars such as Carlorie Mate (easy to find at stores) or possibly Datrex Food Bars (used by the military for survival situations.)

Calorie Mate calorie barsDatrex calorie bars


Of all the items on this list, water is one of the most important items on this list. It is often said in a emergency survival situation that finding fresh drinking water first, is of the utmost importance. For your emergency bag, it is recommended that you have at up to 1 gallon of drinking water per person. If there is more than one person you may need to prepare for, more than one bag might be nessesary due to the space needed.

collapsible water bag


You may or may not need any tools, but it is best to be prepared. The minimal suggested tools would be a multitool (Swiss army knife /leatherman), collapsable shovel, duct tape, a flashlight (solar powered or crank) and rope (paracord is suggested.) Another very important item is a whistle, which can be used to alert others of your location or call attention to yourself in the event you are hurt and are unable to move.

In this day and age having a charger for your phone is very important. Packing extra cords and a solar power charger or a power bank will make staying in contact and getting emergency help all the easier.

Leatherman MultitoolSwiss army knifeparacord

First Aid kit

Just as important as the rest of the items in this packing list, if not more, is the First aid kit. While it would be easier to purchase one of the premade kits available online, you can make your own. For the most basic First Aid Kit you will need; Band-Aids, disinfectant, over the counter medicines (asprin/ibprofen, antifungal cream, cough medicine), masks, and precription medicine.

If you would rather purchase a First Aid Kit, below is a link to one of the many types that are available.

First Aid Kit


Nature will call and when it does, it is best to be prepared. Packiing some toilet paper as well as some trash bags will make your life easier in a stressful situation. An alternative to packing a trashbag, is buying a portable toilet. A good idea is to remove the cardboard center from the toilet paper allowing you to compress it. Another suggestion is to keep the toilet paper in a water proof container so that it can avoid getting wet.

Also packing anti bactierial wet tissues will make washing a bit easier if there is no water around. In the even that you need to wash your hair, waterless shampoo is recommended as well.

antibacterial wet tissuesPortable toilet


For shelter and warmth, we recommended packing a lightweight blanket, a tent, a jacket and some pocket warmers. This however might be too cumbersome for some, so as an alternative you can pack space blankets, and a lightweight mylar tent.

Pocket warmersMylar TentSpace blanket

Documents and Money

In the event of an emergency there may be quite a bit of confusion and there might also be times when you need identification. It is highly recommended to prepare copies (photocopies) of all of your important documents (passport, gaijin card, my number, proof of residence.. ect.) Keep these documents in a ziplock bag or another type of water proof container.

It is very likely that you will be unable to access your accounts at an atm or other location during an emergency. It is highly recommended that you have emergency cash prepared as well. The amount recommended would vary greatly depending on the person, but anywhere from at least 10,000 to 100,000yen should be adequate.

** Other things to consider**

If you have pets consider packing some pet food and a toy or two, as well as a leash.

If you have children with you, pack some toys and books to keep them entertained and calm during a stressful emergency.

If you wear glasses, consider packing an extra pair in your emergency bag

Pack a book to read to give yourself a mental break from your stressful situation

  • Japan Typhoon Season: How to Prepare for a Disaster

    While earthquakes are the most associated natural disaster with Japan, typhoon season should be taken seriously as well. Learn how to prepare with this guide.
  • Earthquake-proof your Home: A Simple Safety Checklist

    Earthquake proofing your housing can be a daunting task when you don't know where to start. Here are some simple steps to help you safely earthquake-proof your home in Japan.
  • Earthquake App Options: 6 Smart Choices for your Smartphone

    Stay up-to-date on earthquakes that might be coming by using an earthquake app. Whether you're a Japan expat or you simply want to keep safe, try these 6 options.
  • For Emergency - Methods for Contacting Family Members

    After the earthquake in March 11th, both mobile phones and landlines were unable to connect for a while in Tokyo leading many to worry about the safety of their loved ones. The following information will show you ways to communicate in case of emergencies. We would advise that you to decide beforehand on the communication method to prioritize amongst your family members in the event of an emergency.
  • What to do in Case of an Earthquake: Safety and Evacuation

    What should you do in the event of an earthquake in Tokyo? Be Prepared! From indoor and outdoor safety to evacuation sites and English-language radio stations, we can help. We also list of Evacuation Maps by Ward in Central Tokyo.
  • Japanese warning system - J-ALERT

    J-ALERT is Japan's National Instant Warning System. The alert will come when the government transmits emergency information instantly to the residents of the whole country. The Meteorological Agency transmits information to the system about an earthquake, a tsunami, a volcano, etc. The Cabinet Secretariat is responsible for sending information about ballistic missiles, aviation attacks, guerrilla attacks, mega terrorism, etc.