Preparing For An Earthquake | Emergency Preparedness Forum for Children and Youth with Disabilities

11:16 PM
Rattled by the sudden vigorous shaking of our school library's glass book cabinet, it took a while for me to realize what was happening then. Filled with fear, I quickly ran underneath the table for cover, blabbering to myself that I should have not stayed so late in school that day.
Happened 28 years ago when the 7.8 magnitude Luzon Earthquake hit the Philippines on the 16th of July 1990, I was not able to keep calm and carry on after that experience. It was a wake up call not just for me but for everybody.
This 'Killer Quake' has indeed created significant changes and improvements in the awareness and approaches in reducing the risk of disasters in the country. Recently, I was able to attend a forum on Disaster Preparedness for Children and Youth with Disabilities conducted by SM Cares, held at the SMX Convention. The attendees are young people who are blind, deaf, with physical/orthopedic impairments, with Down syndrome, Autism and those with rare disorders.

Thanks to their forum speakers : Dr. Renato Solidum, Jr. (Undersecretary for Disaster Risk Reduction Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and Officer-in-Charge Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) and Dr. Ted Esguerra, Operational Medicine Instructor International Disaster Response Network, I was able to gain ideas on how to prepare my family for the BIG ONE. Sharing some of those to you.

Solidum said they have estimated that more than 48,000 people living in Metro Manila and the nearby provinces of Rizal, Cavite, Laguna and Bulacan will be killed should the West Valley fault line move and cause a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.
So, How To Prepare Your Family For An Earthquake?

Check Your location Of Your House. If you are along or near an active fault, prone to landslides, liquefaction or tsunami.

Assess Your House Using The How Safe Is MY House tool for self-check for earthquake safety.

Orient Family Membersv- about earthquake and its hazards.

Teach Each Member -  on what to do before, during, and after earthquake. Use the Duck(Drop), Cover, Hold.

Conduct Observation On Safe And Unsafe Spots In Your House - have your family member identify each.

Prepare Family Emergency Supply Kit. 
Prepare Family Evacuation Procedure.

Familiarize Your Family With The Community Earthquake Plan - Walk-through the evacuation route going to the designated evacuation area(open space).

Know The Community Emergency Contact Numbers And Facilities

Regularly Conduct Earthquake Drill - with the family and other household members.

Teach Your Family Basic First Aid, How To Use Fire Estinguisher, Switching Off Waterlines, Gas Tanks, Circuit Breaker

Agree On How To Reunite With Family Members

The Philippines’ estimated 5.1 million Filipino children with disabilities are the most vulnerable in every calamity or emergency that may strike the country.

Children with disabilities are often excluded from emergency preparedness planning at all levels of government, leaving children with disabilities especially unprepared for emergencies. DRR people commonly assume that parents will inform, warn, and protect children in the event of disaster, even though children are frequently apart from their parents when in school, daycare, or with their friends

SM has been doing the forum each year to make sure their voices are heard in DRR initiatives. This sharing of know-how and strategy to face the inevitable that would test their mettle. They will be doing this again and again to reach out to more people, especially the likes of everyone who deserve to know more, and gain more in such knowledge.

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