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7 Ways to Earthquake-Proof Your Life

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by capslocked, Aug 31, 2015.

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    Just because you did the Shake Drill last July 30 doesn’t mean you should rest easy.

    Let’s repeat the deadly facts: the Marikina Valley Fault System has the potential to produce a major earthquake of Magnitude 6.0 or greater every 300 to 400 years. The last one we had was in 1658, and it is possible that we might see another one in our lifetime.

    While there is no substitute for drop-cover-and-hold-on, the period immediately after a disaster is another huge challenge for survivors, as we have witnessed during Typhoon Yolanda. The following are a few steps you can take to prepare yourself when the big one hits:

    1. Check if your house or office other important places are along the Marikina Valley Fault System. Please or Register to view links. Take a long, hard look, and see if it’s worth it to change locations.

    2. Double-check if your house or office meets the Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology standards for earthquake-readiness. While the original document is no longer available in the Phivolcs website, Please or Register to view linksdeveloped by Phivolcs and the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Heck, Please or Register to view links. (Sample question: “What is the shape of my house?”)

    A score that’s less than an 11 requires consultation of a licensed civil engineer. For office buildings and schools, contact both the administrators and the Office of the City Civil Engineer.

    3. Make sure your office has a contingency plan. And then, make your own. Have your own fail-safe in place for you and your family. I.D. which areas will likely be spared or remain intact that are nearby and to stay there until help arrives.

    Also, scribble down the GPS coordinates of your residence and your office on a notebook. It’ll help for third-party emergency rescue services. It’s important to put it in a hard copy because your phone will most likely lose battery power when the Big One comes to town.

    4. Know every entry and exit point in your home and office.This serves two reasons. First, after a major earthquake, you’ll obviously need to know how to leave the building after enough time has passed after the initial jolt.

    Second, these entrance/exit points need to be secured after a disaster to avoid incidents caused by the breakdown of civil order. One of the experiences that were not documented after Typhoon Yolanda were the sexual assaults of people in their houses by victims-turned-looters.

    [​IMG]A photo from Sindhupalchowk, Nepal taken on June 22, 2015, two months after the deadly Gorkha earthquake that claimed more than 9,000 lives

    5. Know where the main electrical power switches are in your house. Also note where you store your LPG canisters. Fires after earthquakes are a common hazard.

    6. Ready your cache of potable water, food, and communications equipment (including battery-operated radios) good for at least 3 to 7 days. A major earthquake will mean a total breakdown of services. Supermarkets will most probably be looted, and there will probably be no way to replace stocks. The first phase of emergency rescue services will just be ramping up in the first week, so you have to make sure you survive it.

    7. Have your own “evacuation site.” Whether this is a friend’s or a relative’s house or even a vacation cottage you own in a nearby province that will be spared by a major earthquake, you must strongly consider this option.

    The lessons learned during the earthquakes (and strong aftershocks) that struck Nepal 4 months ago is that other earthquakes caused by other fault systems can happen. Major disasters don’t choose a convenient time and place and it is unlikely anyway that life will return to normal in the days or weeks that follow. Preparedness is everyone’s job
     
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