Another strong earthquake (magnitude 6.3) has hit quite close to Cebu – this time in Hinoba-an town, Negros Occidental. In less than 5 years, three quakes struck near and even affected Cebu. The previous two caused much damage and panic:
1. October 15, 2013 quake with epicenter at Carmen, Bohol
2. February 6, 2012 quake with epicenter at Guihulngan, Negros Oriental (Remember Chona Mae?)
It is best that we Bisdak prepare for another tremblor even if we handily survived these earthquakes. Moreover, the quakes are becoming more frequent.
Based on the American Red Cross website (http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/earthquake | © Copyright The American National Red Cross. All rights reserved.), to prepare for an earthquake, one must:
- Become aware of fire evacuation and earthquake safety plans for all of the buildings you occupy regularly.
- Pick safe places in each room of your home, workplace and/or school. A safe place could be under a piece of furniture or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that could fall on you.
- Practice “drop, cover and hold on” in each safe place. If you do not have sturdy furniture to hold on to, sit on the floor next to an interior wall and cover your head and neck with your arms.
- Keep a flashlight and sturdy shoes by each person’s bed in case the earthquake strikes in the middle of the night.
- Make sure your home is securely anchored to its foundation.
- Bolt and brace water heaters and gas appliances to wall studs.
- Bolt bookcases, china cabinets and other tall furniture to wall studs.
- Hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches and anywhere people sleep or sit.
- Brace overhead light fixtures.
- Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets. Large or heavy items should be closest to the floor.
- Learn how to shut off the gas valves in your home and keep a wrench handy for that purpose.
- Learn about your area’s seismic building standards and land use codes before you begin new construction.
- Keep and maintain an emergency supplies kit in an easy-to-access location.
As written on their Google Play Store page, the American Red Cross Earthquake app has the following features:
- Step-by-step instructions let you know what to do even before/during/after an earthquake, even if no data connectivity.
- Get notified when an earthquake occurs; see the intensity impact to your area or those of loved-ones with notifications generated by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
- Let family and friends know you are okay with the customizable “I’m Safe” alert for Facebook, Twitter, email and text.
- Find open Red Cross shelters in your area when you need help.
- Stay safe when the lights are out with the Toolkit, including a strobe light, flashlight and audible alert functions.
- Prepare for the worst by learning how to assemble an emergency kit for your family in the event of power outage or evacuation.
- Empower your family to stay safe and remain calm in an emergency by learning how to make and practice an emergency plan.
- Earn badges that you can share with your friends and show off your hurricane knowledge with interactive quizzes.
- See an illustrated history of earthquakes in your area.
- Know how to what to do about food and drinking water when your area has been impacted by floods and power outages.