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Earthquake Preparedness Guide: What to do when an earthquake strikes

With the recent natural disaster that happened in Japan, many Filipinos have become worried that a similar incident may happen in the country especially that the Philippines, like Japan, lies in the Pacific Ring of Fire where earthquakes and other volcanic activities often occur.

There is no other way (aside from prayer) that this worry be lessened than being prepared if such thing would occur.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivols) posted an Earthquake Preparedness Guide on their website which can help all of us out on things to do before, during and after an earthquake incident. Check it below.

Before the Quake

It is advisable to prepare safety plans and emergency stock before an earthquake occurs. These plans may help increase the possibility to survive a quake.

  • Be familiar with the dangerous spots of your house.
  • Be careful with things which may harm the people residing there during earthquake. It is better to fix as early as possible the faulty electrical wiring, leaky gas connection, and fasten shelves.
  • Identify safe places indoors and outdoors.
  • Educate your family about emergency contacts.
  • Prepare a stock of emergency supplies. A stock of food, water, medicines, flashlights, and batteries can help you and you family survive the tremor.
  • Make an evacuation and reunion plan. It is possible that family members maybe separated from each other during an earthquake so it is advisable to have a reuniting plan like meeting in a certain place after the disaster.

Duck, Cover, and Hold

This tip is commonly given by experts during earthquakes and is much effective if done indoors. However, there are also safety advises if a person is outdoor or trapped in a debris.

  • During quakes, duck or drop to the ground.
  • Take cover. You may hide under a study table or piece of furniture for protection from falling debris.
  • Hold that position and stay wherever you are until the shaking stops and you cannot feel anymore ground movement.
  • Do not immediately proceed to the door especially if the door has will swings which can even cause injury.
  • If outdoors, move away from building and streetlights.
  • Immediately proceed to open area.
  • Once in the open, stay there and do not go near buildings and tall infrastructures to avoid falling debris.
  • If in a moving vehicle, stop as quickly as safety permits.
  • Avoid stopping near buildings, overpasses, bridges or ramps which may have been damaged by the earthquake.
  • If trapped under debris, cover your mouth with handkerchief.
  • Create noises by tapping pipes or walls for rescuers to locate you. Do not shout, it is just a last option because it may cause you to inhale dangerous amount of dust.

After the Tremor

  • Once the earthquake is over, listen to battery- operated radio or television for updates of aftershock.
  • Stay away from damaged area.
  • Stay away from the beach if living in a coastal area.
  • Be aware of possible tsunamis.
  • Landslides are also possible for mountainous areas as well as the ground rapture for areas along active faultlines which causes the ground to break.
Take care, everyone!