Manila, Philippines – July is “National Disaster Resilience Month” (formerly, National Disaster Consciousness Month). It is observed annually from July 1 to 31. This year’s celebration goes under the theme “KATATAGAN SA KALAMIDAD ay Makakamtan Kapag Sapat ang Kaalaman sa Kahandaan.”
As part of disaster preparedness, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority or MMDA has performed its metro-wide Shake Drill last Friday, July 20.
The Shake Drill, the MMDA said, aims to sustain and improve the public’s awareness and consciousness in case of a 7.2-magnitude earthquake or the feared “Big One”.
Aside from the shake drill, authorities have continuously raise awareness on disaster preparedness. Government agencies tasked in disaster risk reduction provide tips on how to prepare and survive a strong earthquake.
What is the Big One?
The greater part of Metro Manila is located along the West Valley Fault, which can pose a great risk should a strong earthquake hit the region. The “Big One” can be as strong as 7.2 magnitude according to Phivolcs, which may bring major damages to infrastructures and multiple casualties, once it hit Metro Manila.
How to prepare before the Big One strikes?
Authorities have the following ligtas tips:
- Avoid placing heavy and sharp objects on higher location, that is above the cabinets or hung on the wall.
- Study the “evacuation plan” of your office or school building and your community.
- Prepare water and food that will be good for at least two weeks.
- Prepare a “GO” bag.
Your “GO” bag should contain the following:
- Food which are not prone to spoilage – like biscuits, canned goods, etc.
- Flash light with extra batteries. Power banks will also provide added power source.
- Maintenance meds (if any), or first aid kits.
- Copy of important documents such as emergency contact information.
During an earthquake:
- Remember the drill – Duck, Cover, and Hold. Duck, cover your head and hide under a sturdy structure like a table.
- Stay away from glass windows or doors, hanging cabinets, etc.
- DO NOT RUN while the ground is still shaking.
- If you are already outside while the earthquake is occurring, stay away from a building, lamp posts, and electric cables or any falling structures.
- When inside the car, pull over and stay in the vehicle until the temblor stops.
After an earthquake
- Escape through the stairs. Do not use the elevator or lift.
- Go to a clear and safe area.
- Check if you and your family have injuries. Apply first aid when necessary.
- Carefully check surroundings for broken glasses and other injury-causing debris.
- Stay away from the shorelines. A possibility of tsunami is highly likely when a strong earthquake hits.
- Aftershocks are expected. Do not go back inside a building unless deemed safe by authorities.
- Know your emergency hotlines: