When the 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit Luzon last Friday where the epicenter was located in Nasugbu, Batangas, the incident immediately became the “Breaking News” for social media networks. The netizens immediately picked up the alert and went online, sharing the news to their networks. Within minutes, many knew what was happening, opening the PHIVOLCs site and checking for aftershocks. There was no tsunami, thank goodness, but as I write this, I am looking out for aftershocks.
We are now experiencing more earthquakes in our country, some outside Luzon, and once in a while here in Metro Manila.
I know we have been doing a lot of earthquake preparedness drills these past few months. I am even aware that if the “big one” occurs, there will be a lot of casualties and victims.
I just don’t want to think about it, but as Women Talk is advocating preparedness for such massive natural calamities, there is one aspect of the aftermath that we the women should be prepared for.
I am referring to the food situation. Also, if the “big one” occurs, we have been warned that we will be on our own or Y.O.Y.O or you are on your own for the next few days after the big earthquake.
This means that we, the women of the households, should be prepared to not be helped for the first three to five days because everyone will be a victim and literally, we will be on our own. Preparedness is the key here.
We have been told again and again to have a “go bag” prepared at all times in case we have to rush our families to the nearest evacuation center or even open fields. Our government has been preparing us for the past few years, but more so these past few months.
Almost all barangays now have a disaster preparedness unit and equipment have been bought. Just search the website on what are needed. It’s all there.
Things like water, first aid, bicycles (roads will be damaged), even the old fashioned walkie-talkie since cell sites may be damaged.
All our emergency lights should always be charged. But what is crucial is to have ready energy food like biscuits to sustain us for one week at least.
Water is a priority, of course. Each barangay should also coordinate for organizations or women’s groups to set up a feeding center at evacuation centers.
This is important to avoid violence and looting. I cannot overemphasize the importance of securing one’s homes, if they are not destroyed. There are suggestions that a soup kitchen should be set up while waiting for neighboring unharmed provinces to come to our aid.
Whenever there are earthquakes, as what happened in Batangas last Friday, people there were resilient and resourceful.
The governor immediately mobilized his disaster preparedness team and prepared they were as this was not the first time a strong earthquake hit the province.
Many organizations immediately called their unharmed members and went to work, aiding those who were hurt. Yes, provinces like Batangas are prepared and they know how to help themselves. But what if it happens in highly urbanized areas like Manila and Quezon City.
What if you are caught in the traffic of EDSA and Commonwealth Avenue? We are advised to stay inside our vehicles and assess the situation around before moving out.
Make sure you have water and biscuits in your cars. If you have to use the toilet, then you should know what to do. I just pray we don’t experience the “big one” because the aftermath will be a nightmare. But our being prepared will lessen our anxieties.