Disaster preparedness

FOLLOWING the recent earthquake which hit many areas in Central Luzon, it would be better if we could prepare ourselves for any eventuality.

In some countries, even school children are taught early about disaster preparedness.

Earthquakes have been recorded almost regularly in the different parts of the country where some were barely noticeable, while others are strong enough to cause damage to properties and even death to residents, like what happened just recently.

It can also cause power interruptions in the different areas.

Strong earthquakes are inevitable, and unfortunately, there is no way to predict or forecast if when and where it will happen.

So, it is the responsibility of everyone to be prepared.

Everybody should take part in earthquake drills so that we can practice how to “drop, cover, and hold on” until such time that it becomes second nature when the ground starts to shake.

“Drop, cover, and hold on” has been proven to be the best course of action during an earthquake.

Safety in your homes and work areas can be attained by bolting heavy furniture to the walls, by having cabinet doors that latch and will not fly open, and by securing appliances so that they will not break loose.

By doing so, our living and working environments will be secured ahead of time.

Everyone should have an earthquake kit which will provide practically all that one may need to survive for three or more days after an earthquake.

Remember that roads and other lifelines may be damaged or destroyed during a strong earthquake, so everyone needs to be self-reliant for a couple of days.

Food, medical supplies, water, blankets, portable radio, flashlight, and hygiene supplies are essential items which should be included in any earthquake emergency kit.

But if you feel that you don’t have much time to put a kit together, don’t be ashamed to buy a pre-packed earthquake kit, as long as it truly has the essential items.”

Don’t forget to have multiple kits – one in your car, in your home, and even in your workplace.

If an earthquake happens, you may be trapped away from your home by damaged roads, so it is highly advisable to be self-sufficient wherever you go.

Experts said that above all, “do not panic – before, during, or after the incidence of an earthquake.”

By preparing well ahead of time, and acting properly during and after the earthquake, you can help in preventing a damaging earthquake from becoming a disaster.

A doable family plan is a great idea to stay prepared. Every family should have a plan if where they will meet up in case of an earthquake.

Since communication networks may be down in the affected area, it will also help to have a designated family member or friend who does not live locally to act as a communications resource person.

The affected family members can them if where they are, and how they are doing, which can be relayed to the authorities or responding rescue workers. (jaypeeyap@ymail.com/PN)


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