Thursday, July 15, 2010

July 16, 1990 and Earthquake Disaster Preparedness

I wasn't in the Philippines when this happened in 1990. But I've watched news updates then on CNN and a few weeks later my aunt received a video tape from Rotarians of Pangasinan of the destruction in Dagupan. So when I came back to the Philippines I was no longer surprised at what I saw. But going to Baguio was a different story, I was so sad for those people who lost their lives, families, houses.

Last year, July 16, I was searching for pictures and stories from the archives. I found the video below from Youtube courtesy of

Since these things are inevitable and may occur due to global warming, I'd like to contribute some info I found in my web search.

How to be Prepared

Electricity, water, gas and telephones may not be working after an earthquake. The police and fire departments are likely to be tied up. You should be prepared to fend for yourself for at least three days, preferably for a week.

You'll need food and water (a gallon a day per person); a first aid kit; flashlights; a portable radio; extra batteries, blankets, clothes, shoes and money (ATMs may not work); medication; an adjustable or pipe wrench to turn off gas or water, if necessary; and an alternate cooking source ( camp stove).

It's also a good idea to decide beforehand how and where your family will reunite if separated during a quake and to conduct in-home practice drills. You might choose an out-of-the-area friend or relative that family members can call to check on you.

Securing water heaters, major appliances and tall, heavy furniture to prevent them from toppling are prudent steps. So, too, are storing hazardous or flammable liquids, heavy objects and breakables on low shelves or in secure cabinets.

During an Earthquake

If you're indoors, stay there. Get under -- and hold onto --a desk or table, or stand against an interior wall. Stay clear of exterior walls, glass, heavy furniture, fireplaces and appliances. The kitchen is a particularly dangerous spot. If you're in an office building, stay away from windows and outside walls and do not use the elevator.

If you're outside, get into the open. Stay clear of buildings, power lines or anything else that could fall on you.
If you're driving, move the car out of traffic and stop. Avoid parking under or on bridges or overpasses. Try to get clear of trees, light posts, signs and power lines. When you resume driving, watch out for road hazards.
If you're in a mountainous area, beware of the potential for landslides. Likewise, if you're near the ocean, be aware that tsunamis are associated with large earthquakes. Get to high ground.
If you're in a crowded public place, avoid panicking and do not rush for the exit. Stay low and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.

After an Earthquake

*Check for fire or fire hazards. If you smell gas, shut off the main gas valve. If there's evidence of damage to electrical wiring, shut off the power at the control box.
*If the phone is working, only use it in case of emergency. Likewise, avoid driving if possible to keep the streets clear for emergency vehicles.
*Be aware that items may fall out of cupboards or closets when the door is opened, and also that chimneys can be weakened and fall with a touch. Check for cracks and damage to the roof and foundation of your home.
*Listen to the radio for important information and instructions. Remember that aftershocks, sometimes large enough to cause damage in their own right, generally follow large quakes.
*If you leave home, leave a message telling friends and family your location.

What to do during an earthquake (From

Alaska Seagrant)

1. If you are indoors, duck or drop down to the floor. Take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture. Hold on to it and be prepared to move with it. Hold the position until the ground stops shaking and it is safe to move. Stay clear of windows, fireplaces, woodstoves, and heavy furniture or appliances that may fall over. Stay inside to avoid being injured by falling glass or building parts. If you are in a crowded area, take cover where you are. Stay calm and encourage others to do likewise.

2. If you are outside, get into the open, away from buildings and power lines.
3. If you are driving, stop if it is safe, but stay inside your car. Stay away from bridges, overpasses and tunnels. Move your car as far out of the normal traffic pattern as possible. If possible, avoid stopping under trees, light posts, power lines, or signs.
4. If you are in a mountainous area, or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rock and other debris that could be loosened by the earthquake.
5. If you are at the beach, move quickly to higher ground.

Other info available from SenWeb and State of California Dept. Of Conservation

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Christinchen, that's me. This blog is about ebooks, personal stuff, trending topics on twitter or alexa and learning SEO.
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Mel Avila Alarilla on July 15, 2010 at 8:28 PM said...

It's hard to prepare for a calamity unless it can be forecasted like typhoons. The only remedy is to use the rule of thumb always, becoming clearheaded and alert. We must pray and ask for God's assistance in our time of trial. Thanks for the post. God bless you all always.

Ria on July 20, 2010 at 8:28 AM said...

Great post sis. I like this a lot. It is very informative. How are you na?

Ria C

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