Earthquake preparedness at home, school and at work

My homeland, the Philippines is not only a typhoon magnet, but it is also located in the Pacific Ring of Fire. As my country is perched on the Pacific Ring of Fire, it is very much at risk to tectonic shifts that could cause strong and devastating earthquakes.

Last year, a tectonic origin earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 struck Region VII specifically in most cities and towns of Bohol, and Cebu City. The ground shook and trembled so strong and hard which caused casualties and structural damages. The recent quake has been recorded as one of the deadliest in the Philippine history. 

There is no accurate tool that can predict nor forecast when a seismic activity can occur and we can never stop it from happening. In most situations we can reduce the chance of injury if we are prepared and well-equipped to handle this kind of destructive disaster.

Below is an Earthquake Preparedness Guide provided by PHIVOLCS (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology)

Additionally according to the rescuers and experts of Earthquake Country Alliance (ECA) the following actions are not recommended to do during an earthquake.

DO NOT run outside or to other rooms when the trembling is strong because you may not be able to move far without being injured as objects may fall unexpectedly on you. Better stay inside if you are inside a high building and look for a sturdy table to duck and cover and stay outside if you are outside. Stay away from facades, windows, glass cabinets and other architectural details as these are often the first ones to collapse

DO NOT stand in a doorway. The doorway will not protect you from falling objects nor stronger to keep you safe.

DO NOT get in the "triangle of life" This information as an alternative to "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" advice has been circulating again lately.  According to ECA this triangle of life recommendation is not credible and may pose life threatening instances as it is based on several wrong assumptions which are as follows:

buildings always collapse in earthquakes (wrong- especially in developed nations, and flat "pancake" collapse is rare anywhere);
when buildings collapse they always crush all furniture inside (wrong- people DO survive under furniture or other shelters);
people can always anticipate how their building might collapse and anticipate the location of survivable void spaces (wrong- the direction of shaking and unique structural aspects of the building make this nearly impossible) ; and
during strong shaking people can move to a desired location (wrong- strong shaking can make moving very difficult and dangerous).”

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