Preparing for earthquakes-A A +A
Thursday, February 7, 2013
AS a lot of us now know, last Monday Feb.4 at around 3:15 pm, Baguio City experienced a magnitude 5 earthquake for a couple of seconds bringing back memories of what happened on the 16th of July in 1990.
And with that experience 23 years ago, a question of how prepared we are comes to mind. Is everybody really aware of what to do in times of earthquakes?
I spoke to friends Monday evening to ask where they were and what they did when the quake happened and surprisingly most of them were shocked when it happened.
This information was vital for my column this week due to the fact that it will prove our lack of preparation during times like these. And being a resident of Baguio, and one who experienced the July 16,1990 earthquake, this must have given us a lasting readiness against natural disasters.
But what should we do? No.1, "DON'T PANIC"! No.2, "ASSESS THE SITUATION"! And No.3, "LOOK FOR THE SAFEST PLACE"!
These three steps may spell the difference between life and death. Most of the people who die during earthquakes are fatalities due to having a panic attack.
Distorted actions during these times lead to wrong decisions. One must always be in control to make the correct and safest decision. What should I do, what should I look for, and where should I go should always be our attitude.
Educational institutions and working establishments must always apply a weekly or even a routine earthquake drill to instill in the minds of our residents the concept of readiness at all times.
We should look at how the Japanese who frequently experience earthquakes do their drill in order to be prepared. I know that it's impossible for anyone to predict the occurrence of earthquakes, but being ready for it makes a great difference.
Hoping not to happen and not sounding as an alarmist but rather as a realist, let’s look at the upcoming grand street and float parade of Panagbenga 2013 this 23rd and 24th of February as a scenario. What should we do once we experience another earthquake during this time?
Imagine the stampede it will create? Injuries to be sustained by the residents and tourists alike? And the actions to be taken by authorities during this time.
Is everything in place? Are the hospitals ready for a mass casualty scenario? And do we know what action to take when this scenario happens?
And just a reminder, let's expect the unexpected. Let's all be ready and once again, "DON'T PANIC, ASSESS THE SITUATION, AND LOOK FOR THE SAFEST PLACE!"
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 08, 2013.