DO YOU HAVE A GO BAG? BUILD YOUR DISASTER KIT NOW

I consider myself paranoid! Yes, I am paranoid. I have seen the damage that the recent Surigao earthquake has caused and to say that I am scared of the possible effects of the West Valley Fault quake is scaring the s**t out of me. So I made it as one of my 2017 goals to be extra prepared and finally assemble our household disaster kit as well as our individual go bags.


THE EAST AND WEST VALLEY FAULT

There are several cities and towns that are within the scope of the 100-kilometer West Valley Fault and may experience quakes of up to magnitude 7.2. That's enough to topple down houses and other tall structures and even cause cracks in concrete establishments. Just the thought of the shaking and aftershocks sends shivers down my spine. On the other hand, areas affected by the 10-kilometer East Valley Fault will experience a magnitude 6.2 quake.

According to Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum, the West Valley Fault moves roughly every 400 years and the last major movement happened way back in 1658 which is around 350 years ago. The "Big One" is bound to happen in our lifetime.

The affected cities and towns by the West Valley Fault are the following:
  • Quezon City
  • Marikina
  • Makati
  • Pasik
  • Taguig
  • Muntinlupa
  • Bulacan (Doña Remedios Trinidad, Norzagaray, and San Jose Del Monte City)
  • Rodriguez, Rizal
  • Laguna (Biñan, Cabuyao, Calamba, San Pedro City, and Sta. Rosa)
  • Cavite (Carmona, Gen. Mariano Alvarez, and Silang)
For the East Valley Fault: 
  • Rodriguez, Rizal
  • San Mateo, Rizal

PREPARING FOR THE BIG ONE

The recent Surigao earthquake had a magnitude of 6.7 and by the looks of it the "Big One" is indeed bigger than what happened recently. There will be more damages as the West Valley and East Valley faults are both in highly-urbanized areas.

I'm not really sure if our building is earthquake-proof so I am going to prepare. I have actually planned to assemble our family go-bag but for some reason, I always put it off. Now that earthquakes are happening almost every day in the Philippines, I feel that putting off this task would be costly for me and for my family in the future. I also wrote this blog so I can spread the word and attempt to convince you to be prepared as well.

Generally, there are three types of emergency kits:
  • household disaster supplies - with enough stock to last until things return to normal
  • a go-bag or bug-out bag - with a kit to aid should an evacuation is necessary 
  • get-home bag - with a kit that will help you get home as soon as possible during an emergency
A go-bag can actually be used not only when an earthquake strikes. It can also be used when there is fire or when there is flooding. It will be a handy kit for when any disaster is at hand.

WHAT IS A GO-BAG? Things To Know


1. Your go-bag should be a backpack that is easy to carry. Choose a light yet sturdy one as you might need to carry these bag on foot when evacuating. 

2. Each person in the household, old enough to carry a backpack, should have their own bag. Carefully curate the adult bag contents as well as the kiddie bag contents.

3. The bag should be roomy enough to hold a few day's worth of supplies (ideally at least 72 hours) but small enough to be manageable and practical. 

4. As much as possible, pick and choose a waterproof bag. Keep things organized and stored in zip-lock baggies as well. You'll never know if it will rain when evacuating. 

5. Strategically, put the go-bags in an accessible area in your house. Do not put it in a locked box or cabinet as time is very important when a disaster strikes. If possible, make go-bags to store in your car, in your workplace and another in your house. 

DISASTER KIT CONTENTS

(ideally your go-bag should have all of these items in different quantities - ensure that the recommended quantity should be available in your house though)

Food and Water

  • at least 1 gallon of water per day per person (make sure you have enough for 3 days)
  • ready-to-eat, canned and dried food (choose easy-open cans), nuts, crackers, cereal
  • water purification tablets (pack of 50 tablets should be enough)
  • drinking water bottle - 1 liter capacity (in case you ran out of water)
Lights, Tools, Clothing
  • emergency headlamp
  • flashlight (plus extra batteries)
  • utility knife (Swiss knife)
  • light duty gloves
  • duct tape
  • rope (at least 15 meters)
  • thermal survival foldable bag (choose the compact option)
  • disposable rain poncho/rain coat for kids
  • emergency survival shelter/tent
  • whistle or bell
  • lighter
  • candles
  • blanket/towel (ultra fast-dry)
  • dust mask
  • extra set of clothes (disposable underwear is ideal to save space)
  • shoes (rubber shoes or rain boots)
  • garbage bags (for waste and sanitation)
  • paper, pencil, permanent markers
  • extra keys
  • charged power bank
  • sleeping bag for each member of the family
  • coreless toilet paper 
Identification
  • photos of members of the family for identification - be sure to write the names, address, emergency contact information at the back of the photo
  • copies of important documents (passport, birth certificates, titles of properties, bankbooks, etc)
  • photocopies of credit cards, ATM cards, medical insurance cards, etc 
  • a USB stick containing scanned copies of your important documents
  • a copy of emergency contact numbers 
First Aid and Hygiene Kit (Dignity Kit)
  • first aid kit: medicines (maintenance, over-the-counter meds for common sickness, vitamins), disposable gloves, soap, bandages, cotton, alcohol, wound dressing, plasters (in different sizes), wet wipes, scissors, eye wash solution, contacts solution, medical monitoring equipment especially to those with diabetes or other life-threatening ailments)
  • sanitary napkin or tampons box
  • toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash
  • mosquito and insect repellent sachets
Good To Have
  • cash (in small denominations)
  • pepper spray
  • area map
  • entertainment pack for young kids (books, small toys)
  • disposable camera
  • extra cellular phone
If the items above won't fit in your bag, make sure to keep a printed list of all the necessary items in case you need to grab everything you need before you go. Ensure that your bag contains only the absolute essentials - the non-negotiables. You can also fill your pockets with food before leaving your house. 

Check your bag at least every six (6) months to make sure that nothing has expired. You can use up expiring food and replace with new stocks. Check if extra clothing still fits as well (especially for young children who easily outgrow their sizes). 

Did I miss anything? If I did, please leave a comment below so I can update my list. 

THE CHALLENGE

I'm allotting the whole month of March to ready our household disaster kit as well as our individual go bags. I will be sharing with you photos of my assembled go bags.

If you want to join the challenge, please let me know by leaving a comment below. Send me updates and photos if you please. Let's all be prepared before any disaster hits us. It will come like a thief in the night and to be ready could be a matter of life and death. 


PHOTO CREDIT: Stocksnap

2 comments:

  1. I have a 50L Backpack with our disaster kit on it store at the back of our main door. I used to have this End of the world mindset and I made sure that the backpack is fully loaded with everything we need. Thats a pretty looking bag huh

    ReplyDelete
  2. I havent thought of preparing one. But I totally get the point that we should at least have one readily available just in case. You made a good point there. I should then also prepare one. And along with it is a sincere prayer that no such big one would happen in the near future.

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