Red Cross urges public to take earthquake drills seriously
MANILA, Philippines — Red Cross chairman Senator Richard Gordon urged the public Tuesday to take earthquake drills seriously.
Gordon issued this statement following the magnitude 6.1 earthquake that rattled Luzon and damaged several properties.
He also asked business owners to take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the public.
“Be mindful of the safety of the people in your establishments. Business owners should inspect and double check the safety of their establishments to avoid putting people in dangerous situations,” he said in a statement.
The powerful earthquake struck at 5:11 p.m. rocking Luzon, including Metropolitan Manila. It also sent thousands of people fleeing high-rises, and bringing mass transportation in the capital to a standstill.
The Red Cross reminded the public to take note of the following measures before, during, and after an earthquake.
Before an earthquake
1. Bolt and brace water heaters and gas appliances with wall studs.
2. Bolt bookcases, china cabinets and other tall furniture with wall studs.
3. Hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches and anywhere people sleep or sit.
4. Brace overhead light fixtures.
5. Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets. Large or heavy items should be closest to the floor.
6. Learn how to shut off the gas valves in your home and keep a wrench handy for that purpose.
During an earthquake (if indoors)
1. Drop, cover and hold on. Move as little as possible and watch for falling objects.
2. It is most important to keep your head and torso covered. If you’re sitting at a desk or table, get under it. Otherwise drop wherever you are.
3. If you are in bed, stay there, curl up and hold on, protecting your head with a pillow.
4. Stay away from windows to avoid being injured by shattered glass.
5. Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit.If you must go outside after the shaking stops, use stairs rather than an elevator in case of aftershocks, power outages or other damages.
6. Be aware that fire alarms and sprinkler systems frequently go off in buildings during an earthquake, even if there is no fire.
During an earthquake (if outdoors)
Find a clear spot and drop to the ground. Stay there until the shaking stops (away from buildings, power lines, trees, streetlights).
During an earthquake (if in a vehicle)
1. Pull over to a clear location and stop.
2. Avoid bridges, overpasses and power lines if possible.
3. Stay inside with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops.
4. Then, drive carefully avoiding bridges and ramps that might have been damaged.
5. If a power line falls on your vehicle, do not get out. Wait for assistance.
6. If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes and cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris.
7. Landslides are often triggered by earthquakes.
After an earthquake
1. If away from home, return only when authorities say it’s safe to do so.
2. Be prepared for aftershocks. If you feel one, drop cover and hold on.
3. Aftershocks frequently occur minutes, days, weeks and even months following an earthquake.
4. Open cabinets slowly. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.
5. Stay away from damaged areas in and around your home.
6. Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake.
7. Check for gas leaks to prevent fires and secondary damage. Spray the fittings on your gas meter and any fittings on gas appliances with a mixture of water and a little liquid dish soap. If it bubbles, there is gas present.
8. Use extreme caution and examine walls, floors, doors, staircases and windows to check for damage.
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