The Foundation for a Sustainable Society Inc. (FSSI) hosted an online forum on earthquake preparedness amidst the pandemic. The forum was held via teleconferencing last October 28, 2021 among FSSI staff, members, and CSO networks.
The forum, led by resource speaker Melissa Mae Tamayo of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), focused on the latest guidelines from the agency on preparing for an earthquake particularly in the time of COVID-19. The Science Research Specialist gave an overview of earthquakes–– what their causes are, how strength is measured, and where they originate. This was followed by basic guidelines on preparedness, where she expounded on the different measures to ensure efficient evacuation and recovery in the context of the pandemic.
Tamayo emphasized that earthquake evacuation would take precedence over stay at home policies, but it is important to maintain social distancing.
The main preparedness measures discussed were emergency kit content, evacuation procedures, family reunification plans, and earthquake drills. To adapt to the pandemic, the earthquake emergency kit now includes extra face masks and alcohol.
Moreover, Tamayo emphasized the importance of being aware of one’s surroundings, especially near one’s home, as it would lead to safer family reunification and evacuation procedures. She also shared that PHIVOLCS has developed tools such as the “Hazard Hunter PH” and “How Safe is My House” applications which could be utilized in identifying hazards in surroundings as well as nearby evacuation sites.
You may find the key highlights of the webinar here.