JULY 2016: National Disaster Consciousness Month

National-Disaster-Consciousness-Month, man-made disaster, earthquake-tips, NDRRMC

Mary Rae Floresca | Negosentro.com

This July, we’re remembering the National Disaster Consciousness Month. In line with this, let’s do a recap on what is this month’s about and quick tips on what to do in case of natural and man-made disasters.

National Disaster Consciousness month aims to increase the awareness of Filipinos on natural and man-made tragedies, such as flood, earthquake or fire. It also hopes to ensure that Filipinos have better understanding and participation of the disaster preparedness programs of the government. From the report of Rappler, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director Ricardo Jalad quoted, “This year’s theme: “Kahandaan at Pagtugon sa Sakuna, Tungkulin ng Bawat Isa” (Readiness and response to crisis: Everybody’s duty), highlights the core intention of this annual observance: To make our people own DRRM as a personal responsibility; that surviving, outlasting the ravages of any hazard, and making communities resilient, is a duty of every Filipino.”

Since the beginning of the year, regional government sectors have been conducting safety precaution drills, especially earthquake drills. Recently, Metro Manila already had the Metrowide shake drill last June 22 to prepare for the “Big One.” Public and private sectors participated in this event.

According to a report from Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology and Geoscience Australia together with other government agencies of the Philippines, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake on the West Valley Fault could lead to the collapse of about 5,911 buildings and the deaths of about 37,054 Filipinos around the greater Metro Manila area. How do we prepare for this? Let’s recall a few tips on what to do when the shaking of the earth begins.

1. Duck-Cover-Hold

This is the highly advised way to be safe when the Earth starts to shake. This position protects you from falling but allows you to still move. Cover your head with both arms, clasping your neck with your hands. If a sturdy table is nearby, crawl beneath it or next to it while keeping one arm over your head. Hold on to that position until the shaking stops.

2. Evacuate

Calmly walk to an open area where there are no posts or tall buildings around. This is why when schools conduct earthquake drills, students are directed to their playground or open field. But don’t evacuate while the shaking hasn’t stopped yet. Broken glasses or other elements may start falling. Remain still first to avoid more injury.

3. Educate yourself about The Triangle of Life

Written by self-professed ‘rescue expert’ Doug Copp, the ‘Triangle of Life’ is an article claiming that hiding under a sturdy piece of furniture during earthquakes is wrong. Instead, you should hide next to sturdy objects, not under them. Here’s an excerpt of Copp’s article:

“Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings falling upon the objects or furniture inside crushes these objects, leaving a space or void next to them – NOT under them. This space is what I call the ‘triangle of life’. The larger the object, the stronger, the less it will compact. The less the object compacts, the larger the void, the greater the probability that the person who is using this void for safety will not be injured. The next time you watch collapsed buildings, on television, count the ‘triangles’ you see formed. They are everywhere. It is the most common shape, you will see, in a collapsed building.”

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