Verification Testing Starts on “Evacuation Action Support” (避難行動支援), a New Disaster Prevention Feature Available with Fukuoka City’s Official LINE Account

• “Normal Mode” (which lets users check hazard maps and the nearest evacuation shelters on LINE) and the test version of “Disaster Mode” (where users can confirm evacuation actions and share their movement with friends) are now available
• Aiming to become a “life infrastructure” that supports everything from disaster preparation to response and recovery

LINE Corporation (“LINE”; Location: Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo; Representative Director, President, and Chief Executive Officer: Takeshi Idezawa) and its Fukuoka-based subsidiary LINE Fukuoka Corporation (“LINE Fukuoka”; Location: Hakata Ward, Fukuoka; Representative Director, President, and Chief Executive Officer: Noritaka Ochiai) are pleased to announce that verification testing on “Evacuation Action Support” (避難行動支援), a new disaster prevention feature available in Fukuoka City’s Official LINE account (LINE ID: @fukuokacity), will begin today (Wednesday, September 4).

The Evacuation Action Support feature is being developed with two modes: ”Normal Mode,” which helps users prepare for disasters, and ”Disaster Mode,” which supports evacuation action during disasters. Verification testing on the feature is scheduled to be conducted in the two phases below.

■ Phase 1: September 4 – October 31, 2019 (subject to change)
• Release of Normal Mode
• Release and operability verification of Disaster Mode test version for trial use by as many users as possible

■ Phase 2: November 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020 (subject to change)
• Continue to provide Normal Mode
• Close test version and start actual operation of Disaster Mode (only available when disasters actually occur)

Using the information they can check in Normal Mode (such as current alerts and advisories, nearby evacuation shelter information, and hazard maps) as a base, users can talk with family and friends in advance about their disaster response plans. Normal Mode supports disaster preparation in addition to features that Fukuoka City’s Official LINE account is already equipped with, such as ”Disaster Prevention Information Transmission” (防災情報の発信).

With Disaster Mode, users will be able to check the actions they should take to evacuate through a chatbot, and share their movement with family and friends when evacuation recommendations or orders are issued by Fukuoka City’s Disaster Prevention/Crisis Management Section during a disaster. Fukuoka City is also actively promoting the use of the “Tsunagaru+” (ツナガル+) disaster management app, so guidance to that app will also be available.

Prior to its release in November, the LINE Group is releasing a test version of Disaster Mode along with Normal Mode today so that users can fully experience them. Tap the “Earthquake Evacuation Support (Demo Experience)” (地震時の避難支援[デモ体験]) icon on the chat screen to start the demo.

Users can experience the flow of guidance in the Disaster Mode test version release, which presumes that an earthquake has occurred. LINE Fukuoka will collect users’ feedback from the survey at the end of the Disaster Mode demo and use it to improve the final version of the feature the company aims to release in November.
Note: The Disaster Mode test version demo experience is not available during actual disasters.

■ LINE Fukuoka Hopes to Achieve Safe and Sound Living as a ”Life Infrastructure” by Supporting Everything From Disaster Preparation to Response and Recovery Through the Disaster Prevention-Related Feature in Fukuoka City’s Official LINE Account

Since many people utilize the LINE messaging app during disasters as a tool for confirming the safety of their loved ones and sending or sharing information, the LINE Group is engaged in research into the enhancement and utilization of features that will be helpful in times of disaster.

To make Fukuoka even more abundant and convenient, the city is also aiming for future-oriented urban development that leverages LINE’s technology (“Smart City”) through its undertakings based on the “Comprehensive Partnership Agreement on Community Collaboration Projects” with LINE Fukuoka.

Among these projects, LINE Fukuoka is working to expand the disaster prevention and response features in Fukuoka City’s Official LINE account by equipping it with a Disaster Prevention Information Transmission function that informs users of things like weather advisories, as well as the ”Infrastructure Report” (道路公園等通報) function that citizens can use to notify the city of damage to public infrastructure such as roads, river dams, and parks via LINE.

With the Evacuation Action Support feature, users can check evacuation shelter information and hazard maps at any time. During disasters, they can receive not only evacuation order notifications but also specific evacuation actions and guidance about evacuation shelters that are already set up. In addition, users can share their evacuation movements with others. By facilitating these functions, LINE Fukuoka hopes to achieve a feature that lets users make evacuation decisions promptly.

Along with the Disaster Prevention Information Transmission function and Evacuation Action Support feature (which let users prepare for and respond to disasters), LINE Fukuoka supports disaster recovery efforts through its provision of the Infrastructure Report feature, embodying the concept of “Life on LINE” as a life infrastructure that is tightly knit into the fabric of our users’ daily lives.

In the future, the LINE Group will further collaborate with local governments, national ministries, and related organizations while making use of the cutting-edge technology and know-how that LINE has to strengthen domestic disaster prevention/minimizing systems.

By promoting Fukuoka’s transformation into a “Smart City,” the LINE Group will achieve our “Life on LINE” vision (in which we aim to become a “life infrastructure” that continuously supports every aspect of our users’ daily lives through our “WOW= lifestyle innovation” philosophy).

■ About Fukuoka City’s Official LINE Account

Launched in April of 2017, Fukuoka City’s Official LINE account sends its more than 1.62 million followers only the information they want. By customizing the account’s information category, residential area, and child’s age settings, users will receive only the information they really need in their day-to-day life, such as emergency information (evacuation recommendations, etc.), forecast information (PM 2.5, etc.), trash pick-up day notifications by area, and age-specific child-rearing information.

■ What the Disaster Prevention-Related Features (Including the Evacuation Action Support Feature) on Fukuoka City’s Official LINE Account Can Do
Note: Functionality that was added to the Evacuation Action Support feature is indicated with a star (★).

① Promote disaster preparation by letting users:
• Check nearby evacuation shelters and hazard maps (★)
• Receive current alerts and advisories
• Collect information from disaster prevention-related links
• Prevent damage before it happens by reporting infrastructure that needs repairing to the city

② Offer helpful information about evacuation actions during disasters by letting users: (★)
Note: Currently, only the demo experience for the test version of this function is available. Actual operation during disasters is scheduled to begin from November.
• Get evacuation information
• Learn about the nearest evacuation shelters that are already set up (★)
• Search for evacuation actions that should be taken depending on their current location (home, work〈office〉, etc.) (★)
• Check current water/gas supply and public transportation conditions (★)
• Let family and friends know that they have started to evacuate (★)

③ Facilitate quick post-disaster recovery by letting users:
• Notify the city of damage done to infrastructure (like roads, river dams, or parks)

■ About evacuation shelter information
The Evacuation Action Support feature uses evacuation shelter information obtained from “Tsunagaru+” (ツナガル+), a disaster management app developed by Fukuoka City and FUJITSU KYUSHU SYSTEMS LIMITED (Location: Hakata Ward, Fukuoka City; Company President: Yuichiro Ishii).
Note: Please see this article on Fukuoka City’s official homepage for details.

■ Examples of the LINE Group’s Disaster Prevention-Related Undertakings
Note: These press releases are only available in Japanese.

LINE and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Start Resident Evacuation/Flood Prevention Activity Support Projects Utilizing SNS/AI Technology

“AI Disaster Prevention Council” Established