Earthquakes can hit any place at any time and being on top of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines is one those countries that are very prone to earthquakes. Damage to properties, economy and even lives are inevitable and just recently Cebu and Bohol were devastated.
The fact that science remains incapable of predicting when and where earthquake will hit, being aware and prepared at all times may increase our chance of survival – even prevent further fatalities.
Here are several practical tips to help you and your family prepare.
1. Always have a disaster kit ready (good for at least 3 days). Place one near exits, one inside your car, or anywhere accessible. This is a multifunctional kit which can prepare you for any type of calamity. Your kit must contain the following items:
· Blanket or jacket
· Candies, biscuits, and ready-to-eat food items
· Bottles of drinking water enough to last 3 days
· Flotation devices (in case of flooding)
· Flashlights and batteries
· Clothes and underwear
· Toys or books (if you have children)
· Hand-held, battery-operated radio
· Medicine kit and first aid kit
· Important documents (placed in waterproof containers)
2. Earthquake-proof your home. Make sure to secure anything that might fall or break during an earthquake. Remove or secure picture frames or any heavy and hard objects on top of your bed, ceilings and walls as these could fall and cause serious injury.
3. Avoid further damages and accidents by always securing your gas and water lines. Make sure to turn-off your electrical power to prevent sparks from causing fires and to keep you from being electrocuted while trying to flee to safety.
4. Save all the necessary emergency numbers on your phone. Remember to always keep your phone fully charged. Keep your loved ones informed of your situation during calamities. It’s always handy to have additional portable charger stored inside your emergency kits.
5. Every member of your family should learn the drop, cover, and hold position.
Drop down on your hands and knees. This will prevent you from falling and injuring yourself further. This position can also allow you to crawl if necessary. Cover your head and neck, and your whole body if possible. Make sure that you are near or under a sturdy piece of furniture in case the whole structure collapses. Hold that position until the earthquake stops. Do not attempt to move or stand if it is not necessary.
Knowing these basic survival protocols can potentially increase you and your family’s survival rate. It is better to always be prepared when calamity strikes.