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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Earthquake and Tsunami Preparedness and Safety Guide

In line with recent events,  I am posting the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology's (PHIVOCS) Earthquake and Tsunami Preparedness and Safety Guides.  These were designed to be pocket-size.  You can have them printed to carry around with you or give away to your love ones.  Or you can also forward or email the link to this post to inform your friends and family who have internet access.  Let us all be prepared.



EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS GUIDE


BEFORE AN EARTHQUAKE OCCURS

- Know the earthquake hazards in your area.
- Follow structural design and engineering practices when constructing a house or building.
- Evaluate the structural soundness of the buildings and the houses; strengthen if necessary.
- Strap or bolt heavy furnitures/cabinets to the walls.
- Check the stability of hanging objects like ceiling fans and chandeliers.
- Breakable items, harmful chemicals and flammable materials should be stored properly in the lowermost secured shelves.
- Familiarize yourself with the EXIT routes.
- Know where fire extinguishers, first aid kits, alarms, and communication facilities are located.  Learn how to use them beforehand.
- Prepare a handy emergency supply kit with first aid kit, canned food and can opener, water, clothing, blanket, battery-operated radio, flashlights and extra batteries.
- Conduct and Participate in regular earthquake drills.

DURING AN EARTHQUAKE

- STAY CALM.
- When you are INSIDE a structurally sound building or home ... STAY THERE!
- If possible, quickly open the door for the exit.
- Duck under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on to it, or protect your head with your arms.
- Stay away from glass windows, shelves, cabinets and other heavy objects.
- Beware of falling objects.  Be alert and keep your eyes open.
- If you're OUTSIDE ... move to an open area!
- Stay away from trees, power lines, posts, and concrete structures.
- Move away from steep slopes which may be affected by landslides.
- If you're near the shore and fell an earthquake, especially if it's too strong, move quickly to higher grounds.  Tsunamis might follow.
- If you're in a moving vehicle, STOP and get out!  Do not attempt to cross bridges, overpasses, or flyovers which may have been damaged.

AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE

- Be prepared for aftershocks.  Once the shaking stops, take the fastest and safest way out of the building.
- Don't use elevators.
- Don't enter damaged buildings.
- Don't use telephone unless necessary.
- Don't PANIC.
- Check yourself and others for injuries.
- Check water and electrical lines for damages.
- Check for spills of chemical, toxic, and flammable materials.
- Check and control fires which may spread.
- If you need to leave your residence, leave a message stating where you are going and bring your emergency supply kit.
- Keep updated on disaster prevention instructions.


TSUNAMI PREPAREDNESS AND SAFETY

- Do not stay in low-lying coastal areas after a strong earthquake.  Move to higher grounds immediately.
- Never go down the beach to watch for a tsunami.  When you can see the wave, you are too close to escape it.
- During the retreat of sea level, interesting sights are often revealed.  Fishes may be stranded on dry land thereby attracting people to collect them.  Also, sandbars and coral flats may be exposed.  These scenes tempt people to flock to the shoreline thereby increasing the number of people at risk.
- Stay out of danger areas until an "all clear" is issued by competent authority.  A tsunami is not a single wave but a series of waves!


Visit the PHIVOLCS site for more information.  You can download the Earthquake Preparedness Guide here and the Tsunami Preparedness and Safety Guide here.


Be prepared and stay safe everyone!  


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