Here are some basic rules to follow.
If you are in a house or building that is shaking violently, get under a table or other sturdy piece of furniture. Wait until the shaking stops.
After the shaking has stopped, or if the building is shaking only slightly, open doors and windows. These are your avenues of escape if the building is damaged or a stronger tremor occurs.
A strong tremor will last no more than a minute. Do not rush outside. Keep away from anything that might fall, such as window glass, signboards, shelves, or roof tiles.
If you are cooking with a gas burner, turn it off immediately. If for any reason you cannot, then make sure you turn it off as soon as the shaking has stopped. Never leave the house with the gas on.
After an earthquake, walk slowly and carefully, as there may be broken glass or other objects on the floor.
If you are outside when an earthquake occurs, keep away from objects or structures that could collapse, such as walls made of concrete block or stone.
If you are near the seashore, remember that a tsunami wave could arrive at any moment. Move to high ground as soon as the shaking has stopped.
If you find a person trapped by fallen debris, do what you can to free them. Start by asking neighbors or passers-by to help. Work carefully and cooperatively.
When leaving your home after an earthquake, shut off all electric and gas lines. Switch off the main breaker, and close all gas valves.
Listen to radio or television broadcasts, and follow any evacuation instructions. Emergency information in English is broadcast on NHK Radio 2, and the audio sub-channel of NHK TV. For the audio sub-channel, press the button ordinarily used for bilingual broadcasts.