Esnara: Duck, cover, hold

The Magangan Stan

DUCK, cover and hold technique is the only effective preventive action that everyone can do to survive an earthquake. Have you ever wondered how? It is actually a muscle exercise wherein, doing it several times makes you remember it when you need to do it. I mean, when you exercise it regularly, it would just come out naturally in time of an earthquake.

The special thing about these three actions are basically to make you calm, steady and ready to save yourself after the shake. Duck, or a short term for drop on the floor, is for you not to hit your head during the shake. Normally, when the ground is shaking, those who are standing feel dizziness that makes them faint. Worst is; they may hit their head on the floor or tables that may cause big trouble or even death. To avoid this, ducking is suggested. Being on the ground will lessen your visual capability that could prevent dizziness.

Cover, on the other hand, is for saving your head from any unexpected falling object from the ceiling, cabinets or windows. It is done by covering your head with any hard object. Take note, however, that covering your head does not mean covering it from a collapsing building. No, it won’t. Please remember that a building does not easily collapse while the earth is shaking. If the building is properly designed by a competent engineer, there is usually a time when it can hold on to its structure after a massive ground shaking. 15 minutes to an hour will be enough for everyone to get out properly.

Finally, the Hold aims to prevent you from moving to dangerous spaces unintentionally. The earthquake may be as strong as someone pushing you away. You hold on so that you will be ready to go out when the shaking stops.

While doing the duck-cover-hold, it is advised that you do not lose sight of those falling objects so you could go away from them. At the same time, make sure to be oriented on where you should go out after the shaking. I remember watching a CCTV video of people inside the Clark International Airport during the earthquake last April when some were still not able to perform the duck-cover-hold. They were running like a drunk person wobbling on the hallway while the earth is shaking. Luckily, the airport hallway was wide that they were not hitting cabinets or fixtures that may have hurt them.

Another thing that the duck-cover-hold technique wants us to learn is to be calm and patient. In emergencies, the main cause of deaths is actually panic and fear. These causes stampede when everyone rushes to the same door all together at the same time. When you are accustomed doing the duck-cover-hold, you’ll get some time to think of where will you go out when everyone wants to exit at the door, which makes you safer.

Exercise the duck-cover-hold technique. It’s our simplest preparedness measure for an earthquake-a hazard that cannot be predicted and without any early warning.


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