Thoughts on Disaster Preparedness

Various man-made disaster (fire etc.) or even natural calamities (flood, earthquake etc.) if not be totally avoided can yield lesser casualty when everyone is vigilant. There is nothing more relaxing than being prepared at all cost, whatever happens.

I have heard a message of a man criticizing the reminders from PhilVolcs about the possibility of having an intensity seven (7) earthquake in West Valley Fault territories dominantly encompassing Metro Manila area. It is not really who is that man who has accused that Philvolcs Director Solidum is acting like a false prophet – predicting what could happen in the future as he meant.  I am not favoring the fact that Solidum is a prophet indeed because he is not and he does not pretended to be, in fact he did not even prophesy a date. He is just speaking in behalf of history, what has happened in the past and observing the movement of the tectonic plates that led him to notice the interval of its movement that occurred at a particular interval of years with a little margin of difference. And due to the fact, he has predicted a prospect of earthquake occurrence anytime. I am not paid by Mr. Solidum nor anyone from Philvolcs advocating their side BUT just being thankful that he (representing his agency) has reminded us to be prepared IN CASE tremors will surface. The warning respected than critiqued by many has led concerned government agencies up to Barangay levels and had taken seriously to have pushed them to provide awareness and sponsor quake drills to their respective constituents. The Church where I belong also unite with the government on this call; in fact the Central Office has already taken a drill as seen on Net25 reports. Earthquake Safety Awareness campaign is but crucial in saving potential victims (injured or maybe even dead at the worst!). MMDA is also doing their share and ready to provide FREE awareness seminar/drill to schools, Barangays who will want to invite them as a resource speaker. There is more apart from going under the table or running in an open space in case an earthquake occurs.  Additional are some family-related measures to ensure the safety and reach of each member during the calamity.

Fire safety assurance is not the sole responsibility of the premise owner or government agencies at all, we can be, yes even you would be of great help to avoid man-made disasters like what had just happened to a fire incident that killed more than seventy people in one flame.  Someone could have noticed that the building did not have enough fire exits and fire safety features (smoke detector, fire alarm or even fire extinguishers) or the employees are not well-informed of the fire escapes and other helpful device installed in the premises in case of fire. Because it did not occur in our minds to expect the unexpected we negligently forget the idea that it could happen. This is when conservative thinking is beneficial. We go beyond what is needed at the moment, we have contingencies and we use some ‘forecasting’ to do it. We would be left ill-fated to be victims and more of its impact is to our family who are at ease waiting for us to come home and be surprised that we have perished at school or factory or even in a cafeteria or a computer shop.  Why not be observant? You can anonymously inform the authorities of the school’s or company’s shortcoming/inadequacy without being named or recognized at all. If it is for the safety of not just you but two, three or even hundreds of people, better act swiftly before you regret you did not do anything about a situation that could have been prevented. Like in Valenzuela factory fire, casualty could have been fewer IF there is enough fire exits, fire alarm or smoke detector that could send warning to the BUSY workers who had just (maybe fainted before actually died) suffocated because of the smoke. Had these 72+ people awake and alert (unsuffocated), they could have found a way to escape from the burning building. But they were left without a choice, to die helplessly inside that cage-like factory. We could not blame the Company or the Bureau of Fire alone. We or the employees, themselves could have done our part too if we had been concern and mindful.

Flood control is among the duties of the local government unit under the city planning division, if I am not mistaken, and in the support of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). But aside from constructing dependable gutters, the citizens – that comprises you and me are also on duty to keep the drainage clean. In my own little way, my children knew of this, whenever we eat while on the road, we have to bring home food container (plastic, wraps, blister packs) with us or throw not in the wide-open streets but in the garbage bins. I taught them to be responsible with our surroundings. Because, our environment will give us the “change” be it a reward or a punishment depending on what we have provided. Like that, irresponsible throwing of garbage will eventually cause floods when accumulated maybe not at the very moment but in future time. Gumaca and Lopez, Quezon Province are among the municipalities that prohibits the use of plastic of all sort as well as Styrofoam (here you have to bring your own pack when buying cook food or just buy the recyclable food containers they offer) – because plastics are non-biodegradable and prevalent trash found on clogged waterways.

We are the only ones who can answer the question “Is your environment safe?” We know what we do with the trash, or are we concern of the workplace’s safety- you throw just everywhere, do not expect a flood free community. You did not act to push the factory you are with to install fire safety features, again, why expecting to be safe when you have done nothing at all? It is like “Ignore at your own risk…”! Even the villains attack is mostly of our own making – the ones held-up are those who brag on their personal properties, uses mobile phones just everywhere unmindful of enticing robbers to victimize the showy. If only you wear your jewelries in secure places or during occasions alone you will not fall victim to the snatchers. I am not saying that all those who had been a victims must be blamed but there are people who should not be one had they not attracted the bad elements.

I hope I have done my share to influence you being responsible of your own safety as well as your family’s.  Thanks a lot for reading J If you happen to like this post, please plus and re-share it for others to know, I should have said “to be reminded” of this.  Have a great day everyone. Follow me on Twitter  Magazine FDLS
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Family, Daily Living & Style by Angelita Galiza-Madera is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.