Geology, Uncategorized

What to do BEFORE, DURING and AFTER Earthquakes (Source: EDC Quick News)

Hyatt Hotel Baguio City
The ill-fated Hyatt Hotel during the 1990 earthquake in Baguio City

I know you guys have been hearing about how the West Valley Fault (originally known as Marikina Valley Fault) is due to move anytime in this lifetime. This is scary, I know. But it doesn’t kill to be informed, prepared and ready when earthquake strikes.  Here are things that you can do at home or at work to prepare yourself and your family for earthquakes; also on what you can do during and after an earthquake hits.  Do take note that in order to be fully informed, you have to visit PHIVOLCS website for more reliable technical information about earthquakes.

Visit their website here: PHIVOLCS

MMDA has also recently launched its website specific for natural hazards, the Be Prepared Metro Manila. Do check out this website for a nice video on how disaster risk analysis will be conducted to ready Metro Manila for hazards such as flood, earthquake, wind hazard induced by typhoons, etc.

PREPARING for an Earthquake

At Home

  • Make sure you have a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, go bags, flashlights, whistles, and meeting point maps in your homes
  • Learn how to turn off the gas, water, and electricity in your house.
  • Prepare alternate meeting points where you can meet your family after an earthquake.
  • Do not place heavy objects on shelves (they might fall on you during a quake)
  • Anchor heavy furniture, cupboards, and appliances to the walls or floor
  • Retrofit your house based on PHIVOLCS guidelines
  • Stockpile food and water in your house (Consult EDC EDRU for more details)
  • Know the exit points of your house and evacuation corridors in your community

At the Workplace

  • Learn first aid and basic survival skills (book your schedules with EDC EDRU for First Aid and Survival Training)
  • Prepare a survival kit (“Go bag”) in your workplace.  Bring rubber shoes, industrial helmet with headlamp if working in urban areas.  Place them on your work table so that you can easily get and wear them during an earthquake
  • Learn the earthquake plan of your workplace

What to do DURING an Earthquake 

  • Stay calm! If you’re indoors, stay inside. If you’re outdoors, remain outside.
  • Be aware. Look around. Know what is happening around you so you will know what to do next. Whenever possible, wait for the instructions of floor marshals on what to do next.
  • If in your house, stay low.  After the jolts, check for injuries and gather family members and check the house if stable or not.  Check exit points as fire might erupt within your house or within your community.  Mind the after shocks
  • If you’re indoors, stand against a wall near the center of the house or building. Go into a ‘tripod’ stance (kneeling with one knee) and look around or crawl under heavy furniture (a desk or table) where the whole body could easily snug in. Stay away from windows and outside doors.
  • If you’re outdoors, stay away from power lines or anything that might fall. Keep clear of buildings (the building or things inside it could fall on you).
  • Don’t use matches, candles, or any flame. Broken gas lines and fire don’t mix.
  • If you’re in a car, stop the car and stay inside the car until the earthquake stops.
  • Don’t use elevators (they could stop or get stuck).


What to do AFTER an Earthquake

  • Check yourself and others for injuries. Provide first aid to anyone who needs it.
  • Check water, gas, and electric lines for damage. If any are damaged, shut off the valves. Check for the smell of gas. If you smell it, open all the windows and doors, leave immediately, and report it to the authorities (use someone else’s phone).
  • Turn on the radio. Don’t use the phone unless it’s an emergency.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings.
  • Be careful around broken glass and debris. Wear boots or sturdy shoes to keep from cutting your feet.
  • Stay away from beaches. Tsunamis may strike after the tremors.
  • Stay away from damaged areas.
  • If you’re at school or work, follow the emergency plan or the instructions of the person in charge.
  • Expect aftershocks.

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