Besides from any disaster, I fear earthquakes the most. Why? Because it’s unpredictable. You’ll never know when and where it will occur, and what magnitude it will be.
An earthquake is caused by a sudden slip on a fault. Tectonic plates move slowly and get stuck at the edges due to friction. This will create energy in waves that travel through the earth’s crust and cause the shaking.
Since there are five active fault lines (the Western Philippine Fault, the Eastern Philippine Fault, the South of Mindanao Fault, Central Philippine Fault and the Marikina/Valley Fault System) in the Philippines, random earthquakes have been reported for the past few months.
Earthquake drills are often practiced in schools, offices, and other establishments to spread awareness on the dos and don’ts when an earthquake occurs. Even so, people at home must also be fully aware of the things you should do before, during, and after an earthquake.
What to Do Before an Earthquake
Just like what I mentioned earlier, earthquakes are unpredictable. To be prepared you must:
- Have an emergency bag with a first aid kit, flashlight, portable radio, and batteries. Place it in your home and inform your family member where you kept it.
- Plan a meeting place for your family after an earthquake.
- Teach your family members how to turn off the electricity, water, and gas.
What to Do During an Earthquake
During an earthquake, we are taught to duck, cover, and hold. But that’s not where it ends, we have to:
- Keep in mind to stay calm and don’t panic.
- If you’re indoors, stay away from glass windows and doors.
- If you’re outdoors during an earthquake, stay away from buildings. It’s better to go to open space.
- If you’re in a building, use the stairs in the fire exit and not the elevators.
What to Do After an Earthquake
When the shaking stops, make sure to:
- Check if you have any injuries and if someone around you needs help.
- If you’re at home, check if the electric lines are damaged. If so, turn off the main switch. Also, check the water lines and gas.
- Turn on the radio and listen to the news to be aware.
- If you’re on a beach, evacuate as soon as possible. Most tsunamis are caused by large earthquakes.
- Be ready for an aftershock.
Being fully prepared for disasters is one thing that we must teach to our friends and families. Some people don’t take earthquake drills seriously but these drills can save lives.
Natural disasters such as typhoons, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. can hit us unexpectedly, so it’s better to be ready than to be sorry.