Earthquake preparedness

Logging on to meebo today, I saw an entry by a staffer named Greg. He was recounting his memory of the big quake that hit San Francisco Bay Area in 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake.

One of the links he provided was to a site that tackled earthquake preparedness for the residents of the area, as well as in areas around the United States that are prone to earthquakes.

With the effects of Ondoy and Pepeng still fresh in our minds, as well as the news of a possible earthquake rocking the metro, that got me thinking: what measures are we (as a country, as people and not just the government) are taking to ensure that we’ll be ok should something similar happen?

I did a search for “Earthquake preparedness Manila” and most of what I found were about Chiz Escudero encouraging the government to step up whatever program about it that there is. But I haven’t found any that says specifically what to do in such situations.

From experience, I’ve learned that people aren’t much into participating in emergency drills. Many, in fact, consider it a big nuisance to their day’s schedules and often, would skip attending it. In our building, I’ve seen people pretend not to be at home when the security knocks, just to escape the drill.

What’s good about our emergency drills at our building is that it isn’t just about learning the emergency exits. There’s also a lecture on what to do in these situations. Unfortunately, most of the drills are focused on fire drills, hardly for earthquakes. I think it’s a must especially since we live near a fault line.

I’ve experienced many earthquakes of varying degrees. Oddly enough, I probably experienced less than ten earthquakes during my 4 year residency in Baguio City and often, they were minor quakes.

They say there is no effective way to predict earthquakes, unless you abide by the behavior of animals before such occurrences. The best way is to be truly prepared. Below are some links to sites that have information on preparing for earthquakes, what to do during earthquakes and after.

Make your own preparedness kit (via SFGate)
– This applies to not just earthquakes but to any disaster. It also helps us in knowing what we should buy and not be haphazard when shopping for the essentials.

Preparing for an earthquake
– A post with information on what to do during an earthquake.

Preparing for an earthqukate
– Information from Japan, with cute illustrations

What to do during an Earthquake
During an Earthquake

On another note, I don’t know if you ever received the email by Doug Copp called “The Triangle of Life.” Copp says that the usual “Drop, cover and hold” strategy for earthquakes isn’t the best one to use. However, the American Red Cross responds to it, and is worth a read.

Bottomline, always be aware and don’t panic. Ask your local police and fire department for help in learning about safety measures. If you live in apartments or condominiums, ask the supervisor if they could conduct seminars for the residents, and if they could do regular check-up of the building to ensure that everything is sound.