Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What To Do If There Is An Earthquake

I guess we were all shocked by the destruction caused by the different disasters wreaking havoc to some countries around the world. The 6.3 magnitude earthquake in New Zealand has not only left buildings and structures leveled but it also shattered the lives of the few Filipinos in that country. The 8.9 magnitude earthquake and the ensuing tsunami in Japan left thousands of people dead and some Filipinos displaced and jobless. We may have not felt the tremors but the effects of these disasters in our economy and in the lives of our fellow countrymen who have relatives working in these countries are inevitable.

Panic or paranoia has also become prevalent among our countrymen with the local media continually harping on the idea that a strong earthquake in Metro Manila and nearby provinces may happen anytime. If there’s anything good about this, it is the fact that the government and other concerned agencies were compelled to work and map out plans and contingency measures for this eventuality. They have also started educating the public on what to do in case this dreaded disaster suddenly strikes us

Although I understand that there’s no amount of preparation that can possibly prevent disaster from causing damage. Knowing what to do in terms of emergency can spell a big difference, it may even cause us our lives if we are caught off-guard. Awareness and prayers are two of our best defenses when faced with an impending disaster.

On this note, please refer to the following article from sagipkapamilya.com on what to do in case of an earthquake especially if you are in a tall building:


In a Building

1. Duck, cover and hold. Advise others to do the same. Do not run or panic.
2. Do not leave the building until the motion stops and it is safe. Stay where you
are. If indoors stay indoors. Most injuries occur because people are trying
to enter or leave buildings in a state of panic.
3. If inside the building, take cover under a desk, heavy table or bench, or against
inside walls and doorways, or in the corner of the room. Stay away from
glass, windows, and outside doors. Watch out for falling debris or tall
equipment that may topple or slide across the floor.
4. Do not dash for exits since stairways may be broken or jammed with people.
Do not use elevators as the power may fail. Seek safety in the immediate
area you are in and then calmly evacuate the facility after the quake.
5. Do not distress if you hear alarms going off or if the sprinklers begin to
operate. These systems will likely be activated in the event of a major
tremor. Expect to hear noise from breaking glass, cracks in walls, and
falling objects.
6. Prepare for more than one aftershock. Aftershocks are common after an
earthquake. After the first motion is felt, there may be a temporary
decrease in the motion followed by another shock. Aftershocks can occur
several minutes, hours, or days after an initial shock.
7. Do not use candles, matches, or open flames during or after the tremor.
Extinguish any fires immediately with a fire extinguisher.
8. When leaving be alert for possible falling objects.
9. Assist people to safety.
10. Administer first aid as needed.
11. Make sure coworkers are safe.
12. Report to the Department's Evacuation Assembly Area.
Note: Each supervisor is responsible for assuring the safe evacuation of staff
and clients.


1. Stop as quickly as possible in a secure area to avoid accident and falling
2. Assess the situation before exiting the vehicle.
3. Provide assistance to other motorists
4. As soon as it is safe to do so proceed to the Department's Evacuation
Assembly Area in the vehicle or on foot.
5. If you come into contact with fallen electrical lines, assume they are hot, stay
in your car (the tires are good insulators).
6. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, overpasses, bridges, and utility wires.


1. Be prepared for additional tremors or aftershocks.
2. Evacuate the facility taking care to avoid hazards inside and outside the facility
such as broken glass, gas leakage, chemical spillage, unsafe structures,
falling debris, trip hazards, downed power lines, etc.
3. Use great caution when moving about or entering a damaged building as
collapses can occur without warning. There also may be other dangers
such as gas leaks, electrical wiring, broken glass, etc. If you can smell a
gas leak, immediately leave the facility, warn others, and notify the
Maintenance Department or Security as the gas must be shut off at the
4. CPR/first aid trained personnel will provide first responder care to any injured
personnel and notify the Supervisor or Manager. Notify the medical
emergency response personnel by telephone if the phones are operating.
5. Check for fires and fire hazards. Any fires discovered must be out immediately
if safe to do so with the use of the nearest fire extinguisher. The Fire
Department should be contacted of any fires not extinguished in case the
telephones are inoperable.
6. Do not light matches, use any open flames, or turn on electrical switches or
appliances – there may be gas leaks in the facility after an earthquake,
and doing so could create an ignition source resulting in an explosion.
7. Never tough power lines or anything resembling electrical wiring, or any
objects that may be in contact with electrical wires.
8. Only use the telephone to call Emergency Services for help. Tying up
telephone lines may delay emergency response personnel.

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