I had a TMI Tuesday because of the company-sponsored seminar regarding disaster preparedness, earthquakes in particular. And, although we were overwhelmed with (useful) information, I must admit that it had a big impact on me, hence, this post. Not only that, I was so moved that I immediately took action. But, before that, let me share with you first my key takeaways from MMDA Public Safety Division Office’s representative, Chief Aldo who has an extensive knowledge and equipped with years of experience in emergency/disaster response both here in the Philippines and abroad.
First, what is “The Big One” we’re talking about? “The Big One” refers to the projected movement of the West Valley Faults. According to Philvolcs, the West Valley Fault moves roughly every 400 years. Records say that the last major earthquake generated by this fault was in 1658 or 359 years ago, making it ripe for movement anytime soon. The intensity could be devastating and could reach up to 7.1 magnitude thereby affecting the 100 km radius. Sadly, West Valley Faults is not our only concern since there is another active fault named The Manila Trench. The Manila Trench is an ocean trench in the South China Sea, west of the country. It is capable of producing magnitude-7.9 to -8.2 earthquakes and because it is located in the sea, it could trigger tsunamis up to 11 feet tall that would hit Metro Manila in a little more than an hour. However, no enough data is available to help predict when it would move.
Now, I don’t mean to scare you, mommies! But, I think everyone must be well informed so that everyone can prepare themselves and their loved ones. I think that preparation does not mean being worrisome. Preparation does not mean you have a weak faith. Rather, it means you have a big faith in surviving any disaster. Lastly, we all could agree of course that PRAYER is our best weapon in life and while we pray, God expects us to do our best. There are things we need to buy or even invest in and pray not to have the reason to use them such as death, accidental and medical health insurances. Another thing you must invest in and hope not to use is a DISASTER SURVIVAL BAG.
Below is the checklist I came up with to organize our family’s survival bag. For a printable form, click here.
Other useful information I thought you’d like to know too is the emergency response centers that would be set-up (if not standby) around Metro Manila should there be a disaster.
Having an emergency supply bag or survival bag is just one of the preparations we should make. For other preparations, I find this infographic from Philstar helpful and handy. I just want to add something on the Family Communication Plan: You should have contact numbers not only of your friends, family or relatives in Metro Manila but also outside or even abroad as alternative contact numbers just in case the ones you know in the city are all unavailable for some reason. Also, if you have children who are schooling already, ask for the schools’ plan in case of disasters. DepEd provides this for public schools. I’m sure exclusive or private schools have this too.
Don’t forget to prepare emergency supplies in your place of work too and in your cars!
Lastly, a few reminders just in case you find yourself trapped in a rubble of a collapsed building or house:
- Do not panic. Avoid unnecessary movements so that you do not inhale the dust. Reserve your energy.
- Mind over matter. Maintain high morale and fighting spirits.
- Periodically, move your fingers and toes to ensure blood circulation.
- Cover your mouth and nose. Breath through a mask or any cotton fabric.
- Do not shout or risk dying from asphyxia or inhaling a dangerous amount of specks of dust.
- Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers would hear where you are.
- Use a flashlight or mirror to signal your location.
On my next post, I’ll share with you how do I start preparing my family’s emergency supplies. I’m excited to share with you some blissful finds. I bet you will love them too.
It is better to be prepared than sorry. I fervently pray that the time to need this information and preparations would not come. Still, my mom gut instincts tell me to be ready. After all, we are responsible for our own safety and MMDA admits that the government is not capable of responding to all 17 million warm bodies in Metro Manila should a disaster happen during a busy business day. May God bless and protect us all, at all times.