#GroundZeroSeries: Practical and Effective Disaster Preparedness Plan for Pinoys

Eva’s Hotel stands damaged after a strong earthquake in Kidapawan, north Cotabato province, Philippines, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. The third strong earthquake this month jolted the southern Philippines on Thursday morning, further damaging structures already weakened by the earlier shaking. (AP Photos/Williamor Magbanua)

The Philippines is a unique island isolated in the South East Asia region. Believe it or not, we have 300 volcanos in the whole country with 22 of these that are active. The recent one is with January’s Taal volcano explosion. (As of June 21, there is a record that Canlaon Volcano is being active again. So aside from Taal and Mayon, we are now also focusing our attention to Canlaon)

Aside from volcanos, we usually experience Typhoons that causes flood and problems with transportation. Aside from that, it also has an impact with our food supply system. It will make commodities expensive. Did you know that per year, our country is experiencing at least 20 typhoons? And with Global warming at the corner, we could expect that these typhoons will only get stronger and stronger.

Aside from the volcanos, the typhoons. We also should need to worry about Earthquakes. Remember that we are still waiting for “The Big One” to happen and experts are saying that we could experience it in our lifetime.

Okay. So we got Volcanos, Typhoons and Earthquakes. What’s next?

Right now our country is suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s amazing that if we look back, it only took 16 years before the last SARS Virus became stronger and this one (Sars-CoV2) became a pandemic. If we think about it, as the world changes over time, the years before a stronger strain of a virus would most likely re-emerge in the next 10-15 years.

But Aaron, what can we do? It seems that our situation is hopeless. Are we really prepared to face all of it?

Yes of course, we can prepare it in advance. That’s what we all usually do. Humans are known to have survive A LOT of catastrophe and we were designed to THINK about it and PLAN for our survival.

If there’s a better time to prepare for the next crisis, the time is NOW!

Here’s what you can do for the Short Term:

INVENTORY. INVENTORY. INVENTORY.

The usual weekly grocery doesn’t apply now during a pandemic. For me to be able to be safe, you have to buy in BULK and be smart to buy which items doesn’t spoil fast. It will cost HUGE money but it can avert you from the risk of being infected. It doesn’t make sense that you have a lot of money but can’t use it during a lockdown?

I’m not saying that you should go and do some panic buying. You can do it much simpler: Buy more, weekly. Cut unnecessary expenses and as much as possible, buy consumables for at least 2-3 Months.

Aside from food, you should also stack up on Maintenance drugs, house items (detergent, light bulbs, batteries, etc.)

Make your own “GO BAG”

Quoting WikiHow: “A “Go Bag” is an emergency-preparedness bag that you pack in advance, but hope you never need.”

A Go Bag consists of the items that you may need to survive for at least 3 days. It has personal items like medicines, easy to consume food and among other things.

Having a Go bag is very useful if you need to move out of your current location to someplace safe. This is applicable during a fire, tsunamis, earthquake, or any situation that needs you to force evacuate.

Remember that during a crisis, time is not in your favor. One must be quick and decisive. And with the data from the introduction of this blog post, it’s a wise decision to own one.

If you’re a car owner, it’s also wise to secure a Go Bag in your vehicles just in case of a sudden evacuation.

If you’re budget tight, you can build your go back piece by piece during grocery day. This is very applicable during the “Peace time” where prices of goods are mostly low. But if you’re going to build your Go Bag during a pandemic, it will be costly.

Have a PLAN B to Z.

“What if…. Then what… And When?”

This is the usual questions that i ask myself on how to prepare for any disaster. Here’s how:

What if… The BIG ONE came?

Then what:

  • Should we do during the first few seconds of it?
  • Where do we go after the first quake?
  • Would i bring? (Obviously, Go bags)

And When?

  • Would it occur during a night time?
  • Would it occur during work hours?
  • Would it occur during my commute?

And etc. As much as possible, compile it and let each and every family members know what is your grand plan during these scenarios.

In the next blog, i’ll be posting about long term strategies related to Disaster Preparedness. Stay tuned!