The story of LINE is famously linked to the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami which struck on March 11, 2011. In the aftermath of that tragic event, people struggled to find reliable ways of contacting their loved ones using existing communications services. Three months later, the LINE Messaging app was launched, with the aim of becoming a dependable communication tool people could use for their everyday lives. 

For this 10th anniversary a set of updates were launched in Japan designed to help protect people in the event of another earthquake like the one in 2011. In an emergency situation even small things can make a big difference. Keep reading to learn about eight ways LINE can help you when a natural disaster like an earthquake strikes.

Before an earthquake:

Life would be less stressful if we knew exactly when disaster might strike. While current science and technology only enables us to “guesstimate” earthquakes, being prepared is always prudent. And LINE’s Note feature can help, letting you store valuable information like emergency contacts, a to-do list, and evacuation sites in a place you can access fast and easily. 

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The days and weeks after a disaster are notorious for creating confusion and misinformation, making access to up-to-date, legitimate information so vital. To ensure their information is accurate and correct, users in Japan can add the LINE Smart Notification Official Account to receive live updates after an earthquake (available only in Japanese). 

LINE Earthquake Protection 2

LINE’s OpenChat is a way for people to come together, share information and get to know each other any time, even when there is nothing serious happening. However, in the event of a disaster, the feature can gain extra functionality, as the communities you are part of can become important sources of information and staying in touch. Join or create your own OpenChat in advance to share and receive relevant information with your community.

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After an earthquake:

When a disaster takes place, it’s important to act quickly. One natural reaction is to immediately reach out to loved ones using our smartphones, as we want to know they’re safe. This is another area LINE can be very useful, with the LINE profile page being an excellent way to let others know you are safe and sound, without the need to make a call. 

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Also, remember to take photos of your surroundings and save them in LINE’s “Keep” function. In an emergency, things can get very hectic and you often have dozens of things running through your mind, so documenting everything as it happens can be very helpful for later.

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In the case of a large-scale disaster, it’s advisable to move to the nearest evacuation point. Enabling location sharing turns your phone into a beacon that automatically updates your location, ensuring peace of mind for your loved ones. 

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It’s hard to predict what kind of information might be useful in an unpredictable scenario like a large-scale earthquake. For situations like these, LINE offers a “Highlight” function that lets you pin crucial information to the top part of the chat – making sure that key messages do not get buried under new chats.

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Lastly, organizations like companies, schools and municipalities can confirm the status of their people by using the LINE Disaster Communication Official Account. Recipients are asked to choose their status, whether “affected”, “safe”, or “not in the affected region”. 

Check to see if your organization has an account or to find out more here: (only in Japanese). 

LINE Earthquake Protection 8