Bathlier earthquake
Photo: Bathlier

What to do when an earthquake happens while you’re in the bath

This five-step guide, courtesy of online bath accessory shop Bathlier, has us resting easier in the tub

Youka Nagase
Written by
Youka Nagase

Japan is no stranger to earthquakes, experiencing about 200 per year with a shindo (intensity) rating of level 1 or more. If you’ve spent a lot of time here, you’re probably used to the tremors that punctuate everyday life in Tokyo. For bigger quakes, the basic safety tips are simple, but have you ever worried about an earthquake hitting at an inconvenient moment? Like while you’re taking a bath? 

To be honest, we hadn’t either, but after seeing these safety tips from online bath accessory retailer Bathlier, we haven’t been able to get the idea out of our heads. Not to worry, though – Bathlier says there are just five steps to remember to ensure you can bathe with confidence again.

1. Make sure you have an exit 

It can be hard to think of escape routes in an emergency, so think about the fastest, safest way out of the room when you get into the bath.

2. Protect your head 

Use anything durable like a bucket to cover your head and lay low while the earthquake is happening.

3. Turn off the gas

If you have an old-fashioned gas water heater in your bathroom (aka a ‘balance gama’), make sure the gas is completely turned off. This is especially important for avoiding unexpected fires and explosions after the earthquake.

4. Look out for any sharp objects on the floor

Be careful when you step out of the shower room, as broken glass, metal and plastic fragments might be on the floor. 

5. Cover yourself in a bathrobe or towel and evacuate quickly

In an emergency, you’ll want to escape the building as soon as possible, so there won’t be time for you to rummage through your closet. Grab a robe or towel to cover up and head to a safe place.

One more thing...

Now you know what to do when an earthquake strikes in the tub, but it’s also a good idea to prepare before getting into the bath. Have slippers and bathrobes readily available nearby, so you can quickly get changed and protect your feet. Putting shatterproof film on mirrors and windows in your apartment is also recommended to avoid broken glass. 

And just in case you have to finish your bath without any running water, put together a body cleansing supply kit with products like dry shampoo and sanitising wet wipes. You can purchase any of these items in shops or via the Bathlier website, which is filled with body sponges, bath salts and all things bathing-related.

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