The earthquakes in the past months have (quite literally) shaken us into being more conscious about disaster preparedness. At present, it’s scientifically impossible to predict when an earthquake will strike. That’s why it’s important to be ready anytime. And of course, there is no better time to prepare for disasters than the present.
With that, here are some tips that can help you prepare:
Research on Earthquakes
What should you do when an earthquake strikes your home? Or your office? If you’re driving, what do you do? What about it you’re riding a train? How do you know if your household or place of work is structurally sound?
There are a lot of things to consider. However, there are also many sources of information. You can go to news sites that have covered the topic broadly. There you can learn what to do before, during, and after a quake.
Besides this, they also have reports on what the national and local governments have done in terms of disaster preparation as well as interviews with experts on the topic.
Make sure to also take note of important hotlines. During disasters, you can ask for help from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Office of Civil Defence (OCD) among several other agencies. This is why it’s important to know their emergency hotlines. Here’s a quick guide for you:
Know Your Area
Where is the nearest evacuation center? How do you go there? Are there tall structures that could collapse in your area? Is your location at risk of liquefaction?
For those who live in Metro Manila, you can use Project Tremors to know how far your home or workplace is from the Valley Fault System. Just search for your location to know your distance from the fault line. You’ll also find out where the nearest evacuation center is.
Take Part In Earthquake Drills
Earthquake drills offer good opportunities to practice what you’ve learned. Many schools and offices conduct earthquake drills.
If there are none in your area, ask your local government when they conduct drills.
Learn First Aid
No matter how prepared the government is, it will not be able to instantly provide aid during disasters. Because of this, knowing first aid can be a life-saving skill.
To learn first aid, you can approach the Philippine Red Cross (PRC). They offer first aid training.
Have an Emergency Kit
When calamity strikes, you need to move quickly. This is why having an emergency kit (aka. Survival kit, lifeline kit, or Go Bag) can be a huge help.
An emergency kit is a bag that contains tools that can help you survive a disaster. According to the PRC, it should contain the following:
- Potable water in a sturdy container
- Non-perishable food
- Laminated ID
- Multi-purpose knife
- Candles and matches/ a lighter
- Portable AM radio
- Plastic bags
- Rope (avoid nylon)
- Sleeping bag
- Portable blanket
- Emergency medicine
- First Aid Kit
Besides the above, make sure you also bring personal items such as:
- Clothes and underwear
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Antibacterial soap
- Hand towels
- Comb or hairbrush
- Hand sanitizer or alcohol
- Sanitary napkin
- Personal medication in a sturdy case
Finally, the PRC recommends having a plastic envelope with your IDs, passport, and other important documents like your birth certificate, marriage certificate, land title, etc.
Here’s a handy guide that has all of these items that you can print out:
The possibility of an earthquake is definitely scary. However, preparation can help give you peace of mind. Even if a disaster actually strikes, you can stay calm because you’ve made preparations. It might seem unnecessary. However, you can think of it as insurance. In a way, you’ll be investing in your own personal security and that of our loved ones.