Evacuation Action Support feature on LINE account
Achieves the seamless support of everything from disaster preparation and civic evacuation action.

We developed the "Evacuation Action Support" (避難支援) feature for Fukuoka City’s official LINE account. With this feature, you can check nearby evacuation shelters and share that information with your friends and loved ones at any time. During disasters, you can also check evacuation actions to take and share your movements with others.

Frequently occurring natural disasters and issues in government efforts

In recent years, we’ve seen a trend of natural disasters occurring more frequently and becoming more severe, so it’s increasingly important for local governments to pursue disaster prevention efforts. The number of local governments that are distributing information and doing educational campaigns so that citizens can take life-saving action in the event of a disaster is on the rise. Fukuoka City is also making such efforts by posting information on Twitter and other social media platforms, creating a disaster prevention handbook, and offering a disaster prevention app.

However, making citizens aware of and having them utilize such resources is a tough hurdle for local governments to clear. We recognized a demand for disaster prevention efforts that citizens could easily use so that as many of them as possible can make independent decisions and take life-saving action exactly when they need to.

What is "evacuation action support"?

One issue that comes up during disasters is that people hesitate when deciding whether to evacuate because they don’t know exactly what action to take or whether their family members have also evacuated. The "Evacuation Action Support" feature helps people make the decision to evacuate sooner in disasters by allowing them to:

  • Share which evacuation shelter they are going to with family (evacuation shelter information can be searched at any time);
  • Receive notifications via LINE about evacuation actions that they should take (if they need to evacuate); and
  • Let loved ones know that they have started evacuating.

In the floods that affected western Japan in July of 2018, 30% of the people who made the decision to evacuate said that the reason why was due to encouragement from their family and neighbors.

By coordinating the "Evacuation Action Support" feature with the disaster prevention email that Fukuoka City has traditionally sent out, we’ve achieved an evacuation action system in LINE that notifies people when they need to evacuate without any additional or increased operational hassle.

People can learn exactly what actions they need to take using an auto-response chatbot, and inform their family and friends that they’ve started evacuating. This puts their loved ones at ease and makes it easier for them to take evacuation action as well.

Why should local governments and citizens use LINE in their disaster prevention efforts?

In addition to the "Evacuation Action Support" feature, Fukuoka City’s official LINE account also offers features for receiving information about weather advisories and evacuation orders, as well as for reporting disaster damage to the city. These features let the city support everything from disaster preparation to evacuation actions and post-disaster recovery through LINE.

By adding Fukuoka City’s official LINE account as a friend and configuring their account to receive "Disaster prevention information" (防災情報), users can get notifications about weather advisories and evacuation orders as well as evacuation actions. During disasters, they can share their movement with others via LINE, which we anticipate will lead to a string of people taking evacuation action. When it comes to post-disaster recovery, people can use LINE to simply report infrastructural damage to the local government in a chatroom.

Offering these disaster prevention features through LINE (a communication tool already used by many people) makes it possible for local governments to significantly lower the hurdles to having citizens utilize the features, as well as pursue disaster prevention efforts with the cooperation of their citizens.

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