The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority is in need of 8,000 volunteers for the Metro Manila Rescue Volunteers Corps to be deployed in case of earthquake. The group’s primary commitment is to serve as additional manpower to the existing 6,000 MMDA rescuers.
Eligible volunteers must be 18 years old and above and willing to undergo a three-day earthquake response and rescue training facilitated by the MMDA. Volunteers must be physically fit to fulfill search and rescue duties if and when the West Valley Fault moves. Volunteers will be grouped according to expertise and will be coached by batch of 30s.
Because we live in an archipelago often frequented by cyclones and quakes, preparedness should be part of our lifestyle. That’s why it’s wise to devote a few hours of assembling Bug Out Bags with the family on a laidback weekend.
A Bug Out Bag (BOB) is a handy survival kit that contains our necessities in times of emergency. It is also called Go Bag, Grab Bag or Bailout Bag. This usually consists of supplies that will help you survive the first three days when trapped in a building or moved to an evacuation site, especially when problems occur during rescue and relief operations.
Our body and vital organs need hydration to transport nutrients and eliminate waste. Over 72 hours with no water intake may lead to death. Each member of the family should have at least 3 liters of water in their BOB.
When choosing BOB food, go for the non-perishable, lightweight, less salty and ready-to-eat food items. Having a detailed supply list, including their expiration dates, will be helpful as you quarterly check the contents of your BOB.
Important items also include a can opener, Swiss knife, tumbler, plastic container and enough number of sporks.
First Aid and Hygiene
A First Aid Kit is helpful in dealing with minor injuries and illnesses. This should have the following:
- plasters in different sizes and shapes
- sterile gauze dressings
- triangular bandages
- safety pins
- disposable gloves
- cleansing wipes
- antiseptic cream
- Povidone iodine
- cough medicines
- eye wash
- insect repellant
- thermal blanket
It’s best to create a list indicating the product’s use, expiry date, and other necessary instructions. Practicing how to use the bandages and other medical tools is also advisable.
Wet wipes, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, toothpaste and toothbrush, hypoallergenic soap, towels and other bathing needs should be put in a separate pouch.
The choice of clothing should be based on the current season.
The basic set of clothing includes long sleeves, pants, shorts, socks, underwear, shirts, handkerchiefs and raincoats. Remember to pack clothes that will suffice for 3 days. Remember to put the clothes in a plastic bag first before packing it in your BOBs.
Other important things to put inside your BOB are flashlights with extra batteries, power bank, whistle, sleeping bag, rope, plastic bags and extra money.
After preparing your BOB, place it in an accessible, cool and dry place at home. You may also put one in the trunk of the car, in your office or school. Reiterate to the entire family that BOBs should only be used during emergency.
By: Jesy Basco
Easterly winds, characterized by hot and humid air as they pass across the Pacific Ocean, continue to prevail over the eastern section of Luzon and Visayas.
Because of the easterlies, the whole country will enjoy good weather, apart from possible drizzling or isolated rain showers in the eastern section of the country.
Meanwhile, the coasts of Ilocos provinces, La Union and Pangasinan will experience moderate to rough sea conditions due to the surge of northeasterly winds.
Small sea vessels are alerted against the current sea condition.
Las Piñas: No less than a hundred houses burned
Last night at 10:25 PM, a fire started in Basa Compound, Barangay Zapote in Las Piñas City. News of the fire reached Task Force Alpha, requiring all fire trucks in Las Piñas and neighboring cities to respond.
Las Piñas Fire Station FO1 Czarina Escalicas said no less than a hundred houses were burned. The cause of fire is still under investigation.
Because fire incidents are on the rise during the Hot and Dry Season, here are tips on what to do before, during and after a fire.
Because life is unpredictable, getting caught in challenging situations is a definite possibility.
One easy way of being prepared is leveling up your EDC or “Everyday Carry,” a collection of small items or gadgets found in your everyday bag, which you can bring wherever you go to ensure your safety and survival. EDC may be customized, depending on your personal needs and budget, but there are basic items that should always be part of it.
No matter what the season—wet or dry—bringing an umbrella is always a wise decision. It protects you, not only from unpredictable rains, but also from the harsh rays of the sun. According to the DOH or Department of Health, overexposure to UV (ultraviolet) rays may lead to skin cancer.
Darkness is crime and accident’s best friend. The easy solution to power failures and navigating your way around light-deprived areas is a handy, light-weight flashlight. Some flashlights double as keychains, which you can easily hook into your bag’s zipper. If your flashlight is battery-operated, invest in rechargable batteries; they are environment-friendly and come out cheaper in the long run. The Philippine Red Cross recommends using flashlights with LED or Light Emitting Diode bulbs, which use less power, and do not burn out.
Some flashlights are equipped with built-in whistles, which can be used to call attention when you need assistance. Shouting for help takes a toll on your energy reserves and vocal cords.
First Aid Kit
Aside from the usual wound-tending agents such as alcohol, gauze pads, adhesive tape, cotton and piovine-iodine solutions, it’s best to carry medication for common illnesses such as cough, colds, headaches or stomach pains. If you have specific illnesses that require maintenance drugs, keep these meds with you at all times.
Pen and Paper
Taking down notes is one of the simplest things we can do to get important information whether it’s a name, phone number or an address. These can also be used for leaving messages. Here’s an additional tip: You can wrap your pen with thread or duct tape which can also come in handy during emergencies.
Small Scissors or Survival Knife
You can use this to cut ropes, cloth and other light materials. It can also be an effective tool for self-defense. Just make sure that it’s kept in a well-padded container inside your bag to avoid injury.
Since the beginning of time, fire has always been necessary for survival, used for cooking, producing heat, and light. The PRC suggests carrying at least three different items that produce fire: lighter, matches and a magnesium striker. Lighters can turn out to be defective and may run out of fuel. Meanwhile, matches can be difficult to use in windy weather.
These light-weight items can be used to repair or adjust clothes or gear. A safety pin can also be useful in putting keys together, replacing your zipper puller or be an alternative fishing hook.
Food is very important especially when you travel for long hours. Keeping crackers or candies in your bag is one of the easiest ways to satisfy your hunger or diminish dizziness.
Water does not only serve as a thirst-quencher to keep your body hydrated but it can also be used in cleaning wounds.
What’s your EDC? Post it in our comments section and let’s talk about it.
Sources: Department of Health, Philippine Red Cross
Amor Larrosa is a weather reporter of Panahon.TV, aired daily at 5:00AM on the People’s Television (PTV). She goes by the title of Weather Lover and believes that “Ang taong handa at mahinahon, kayang lagpasan ang hamon ng panahon.” Follow her on Twitter.
Fire incidents often occur in the most unexpected times, putting both lives and property at risk.
Majority of the fire incidents in the country are caused by electrical malfunctions, leaks in LPG tanks, improper disposal of cigarettes, and misuse of matches and lighters. More common causes include forgetting to turn off stoves and putting out gas lamps and lit candles.
Learning how to extinguish fire on a person’s clothes or hair without firefighting equipment is an important component of fire safety.
Basic steps to remember when caught on fire:
STOP – Do not run and do not panic.
DROP – Drop to the ground and lie down flat with legs out straight. Cover eyes and mouth with hands to avoid facial injury.
ROLL – Roll around until the flames are out. A rug may also be used to smother the fire by rolling it around the body.
After successfully doing the method, stay away from fire, quickly exit the burning building, and seek medical help.
As we propagate safety and preparedness in the upcoming holiday season, it is important to know how to avoid fire incidents. Some of the preventive measures include regular inspection of electrical wires with the help of a licensed technician, creating an emergency exit plan with family members, practicing fire safety drills, installing smoke alarms and regularly changing their batteries, and most importantly, having a fire extinguisher and knowing how to use it.
Specific extinguishers are needed for different causes of fire. Thus, classifications were rated according to the combustibles concerned.
A: Light materials (paper, plastic, dried leaves and wood)
B: Flammable liquids (gas, paint, thinner and rugby)
C: Energized electrical equipment (appliances and electrical tools)
D: Combustible metals (sodium, zinc and potassium)
E: Cooking fuels and oils (cooking oil and LPG)
The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) recommends installing either class ABC or ABCD extinguishers in homes, offices and schools.
To operate these devices, it’s best to remember the PASS METHOD:
P – Pull the pin from the handle.
A – Aim the hose at the base of the fire, not at the flames.
S – Squeeze the handle slowly to discharge the agent.
S – Sweep from side to side and stand back approximately 8 feet from the fire until expended.
Whenever there is fire, always keep a safe distance from it and escape the building as quickly and carefully as possible.