Earlier today, the Philippines was struck by an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1. News of buildings has to be shut down because of it. I was watching Designated Survivor on the TV while folding the laundry when it happened. My 6-yr old daughter was upstairs, in her room. My mom, outside the house attending to some matter. I taught my daughter how to act in this kind of situation so there is some confidence in her being safe on her own. So, I rushed outside to attend to my mother whom I found carrying one of the neighbor’s baby to safety.
A bit of a background, on why I’m writing this. On my previous career as a programmer, I am one of my former company’s H.S.E. (Health, Safety, Emergency) Officer. I have training in basic first aid, basic fire safety and firefighting, and emergency response. I aim to put that training into good use today by writing a guide that will help you prepare in the event of an earthquake.
The danger posed by an earthquake is not the earthquake itself but rather the structural damage caused by it. There were countless reports of structural collapse all over the areas affected. And the best possible response you can do depends on the surrounding you are currently in.
First thing you must do is to KEEP YOURSELF CALM. There is more danger in panicking, remain cool and collected.
The second step is to assess your situation:
- Drop, Tuck and cover your neck with your hand
- Find cover under sturdy tables
- Stay at the corner of the room
- Move away from walls and tall and heavy furniture until the shaking stops
- When driving, stop the car until the shaking stops. Get away from buildings, trees, overpass, utility poles, etc. Same applies when on foot.
- After the shaking, settle to a more secure location. Avoid taking any overpass, bridge, or any structure that might be damaged during the quake.
After the shaking, move away from any hillside or slopes for the possibility of a landslide.
After the shaking, move away from the water as quickly as possible to a more elevated position for the possibility of a tsunami.
Recollect and prepare for the possibility of an aftershock.
There is no real way of telling when this kind of events will occur, and it pays to be well informed and well prepared.
To my fellow Barbarians, my fellow Filipinos, I wish you to be prepared, be safe, and remain strong.