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Jeunice Mariano

on 22 November 2013

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photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
-The most common and destructive of all natural calamities. It is the condition that occurs when water overflows the natural or artificial confines of a stream or body of water or when run-off from the heavy rainfall accumulates over low-lying areas. The effects of floods can be local, impacting a neighbourhood or community or very large, affecting entire river basins and multiple cities and towns.
Before Flood
-The following are suggestions to prepare for a flood:
1. Building structures in a floodplain should be avoided, unless there will be provisions for reinforcement and elevations
2. In order to stop flood water from entering the building, construct barriers (levees, beams, floodwalls).
3. To prevent flood-water from backing up into the drains of your home, “check-valves” this should be installed in sewer traps.
4. To avoid seepage, build seal walls in basements with water proofing compounds.
5. Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel if susceptible to flooding.

During a Flood
If your area is flooded, the following are advices:
1. Equip yourself with information by listening to the radio or
by watching television.
2. Awareness on the occurrence of the flash flooding is important. Immediately move to higher grounds and do not wait anymore for instructions if there is a possibility of a flash flood.
3. Awareness of streams, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood should be taken into consideration. With or without typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain, flash floods can happen in your areas.

Do the following if you prepare to evacuate:
1. Secure your home. Bring in outdoor furniture if you still have time.
Essential items should be moved to upper floors.
2. Utilities at the main switches or valves should be turned off if instructed to do so.
Electrical appliances should be disconnected. If you are wet or
standing in water, electrical equipment should not be touched.

When driving in flooded areas
1. If water is already 6 inches, it will already reach the bottom of your car which
can cause loss of control and possible stalling.

After a Flood
For the period following a flood, the following guidelines should be considered:
1. Listen to news reports for you to be able to know if the water supply in the community is safe to drink
2. Water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage that can cause diseases;
hence flood water should be avoided.
3. Moving water should be avoided.
4. Stay away from drowned power lines, and report to the power company.
5. If the building is surrounded by floodwaters, move and stay out immediately.

6. Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened brought by floods and could collapse under the weight of a car.
7. Return home only when the authorities declare it safe.
8. Immediately repair damaged septic tanks.
Sewage systems which are damaged are serious health hazards.
9. When entering a building, use extreme caution since there may be hidden damage particularly in foundations.
10. Everything that got wet should be cleaned and disinfected. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.

The shaking of the earth’s crust; violent; causing destructions.
During an Earthquake
-Minimize movements and stay indoors until the shaking has stopped.
If you are indoors, then:
1. Cautiously open cabinets. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.

2. Take cover under a table, desk, or bench against
an inside wall, and hold on. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.

3. Doorway can be used as a shelter if it is
in close proximity to you and you are aware that that
it is strongly supported, load-bearing doorway.
4. Stay away from any falling objects like glass, windows, outside doors and walls, lighting fixtures or furniture.
5. Put on shoes or boots. There might be broken glasses or sharp objects on the ground that can injure you.

6. Broken electric wires should be avoided.
Immediately report to the proper authorities.
7. Listen to battery-operated radio or television for the latest emergency information.
8. If the earthquake strikes and you are in bed, just stay on it, hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
9. Damaged areas should be avoided unless your assistance has been specifically requested by police, fire or relief organizations.
10. Just stay inside until shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. During earthquakes, most injuries occur when people are hit by falling objects when entering into or exiting from buildings.
11. Avoid using the elevator.

If you are outside, then:
1. Immediately get away from buildings, streetlights and utility wires.
2. Just remain outside.
If you are in a moving vehicle, then:
3. Stop immediately and stay in the vehicle.
Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
4. Once the earthquake has stopped, proceed cautiously, watching forward and bridge damage.
If you are trapped, then:
5. Avoid lighting a match. Do not move about or kick dust.
If you are under debris, then:
6. Your mouth should be covered with a cloth, or handkerchief.
7. Create loud noise by tapping on a pipe or wall, so that the rescuers can immediately locate you. If a whistle is available, use it. The last resort is to shout loudly but bear in mind that shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dusts.

After an Earthquake
For protection after an earthquake, the following should be undertaken:
1. There are often aftershocks after an earthquake, hence be prepared.
2. Stay away from damaged buildings because it may eventually collapse.
3. Places near the sea should be avoided. If you live in coastal areas, be aware of possible tsunamis.
4. Inspect yourself from cuts, wounds, or fractures and those around you.
Apply first aid if necessary.

5. Listen to battery-operated radio or television for the
latest emergency information.
6. In case of emergency, use the telephone.
7. Emergency plan in your community should be followed.
8. Leave a message of your whereabouts if you
want to leave your place. Emergency materials
should be brought.

1. Smoke alarms should be installed. Smoke alarms that function well decreased your chances of dying in fire by half.
2. Place smoke alarms on every level of your residence. They should be placed outside the bedrooms four (4) to twelve (12) inches from the ceiling or high on the wall, at the top of open stairways, or at the bottom of enclosed stairs and near (but not in) the kitchen.
3. Smoke alarms should be tested and cleaned once a month and replace batteries once a year. They should be replaced once every 10 years.
4. Candles and lamps should not be set too close to curtains
During a Fire
1. Leave immediately the building.
Never try to fight unless it is only contained in small area.
2. If your clothes catch on fire, stop, drop and roll until the fire ceased. Running only funnelled and spread flames easily.
3. When going through an area which has a thick smoke, wet a towel and cover your nose then crawl on the floor going to your exit. There is a little amount of smoke and heated poisonous gas on the floor since they tend to rise.
4. If the door feels hot, do not open. Escape through a window. If you cannot escape alert fire fighters of your presence by hanging a white or light colored sheet outside the window.
5. If the door is cool, open slowly and ensure fire and/or smoke is not blocking your escape route. Shut the door immediately if your escape route is blocked by using an alternate way such as the window.
6. As you escape, immediately close the doors to delay the spread of the fire.
7. Once you are safely out, stay out. Call the fire department.

Escaping a Fire
1. Review and practice escaping from each room with your family.
2. Be sure that windows are not nailed or painted shut. See to it that security gratings on windows have fire safety opening features so they can be easily opened from the inside.
3. If your residence has several floors or levels, you have to consider escape ladders. Be sure that burglar bars and other anti-theft mechanisms that block outside entry are easily opened from the inside.
4. Family members should be made to understand that they have to stay low to the floor (where the air is safer in a fire) when escaping from a fire.
5. Clean the storage areas and throw all the trash such as old newspapers and magazines.

Protective Measures
1. Avoid building near steep slopes, close to mountain edges, near drainage ways or natural ways or natural erosion valley.
2. Appropriate professional/experts advice should be sought on corrective measures.
3. Ground assessment of your property should be conducted.
4. To avoid gas or water leaks and minimize home hazards, have flexible pipe fittings installed since they are more resistant to breakage (only the gas company or professionals should install gas fittings).
Before Landslide
How to determine landslide warning signs:
1. The outside walls, walks or stairs begin pulling away
from the building.
2. There is occurrence of changes in your landscape such as
patterns of storm-weather drainage on slopes
(especially the places where runoff water converges)
land movement, small slides, flows or progressively leaning trees.
3. There are new cracks appearing in plaster, tile,
brick or foundations.
4. There are unusual sounds such as cracking of the trees
or knocking of the boulders together, which indicate moving debris.
5. It is for the first time that the doors or windows stick or jam.

During Landslide or Debris Flow
1. As quickly as possible, move away from the
path of a landslide or debris.
2. If it is not possible to escape, curl into a tight ball
and protect your head.
3. Find out if there are associated dangers such
as broken electrical wiring, gas, and sewage
lines and damaged roadways and railways.

What to do After a Landslide
1. Stay away from the slide area to avoid additional hazards.
2. Immediately check for injured and trapped persons in
the slide area without entering the premise. Give direct instruction to the rescuers where the trapped persons are.
3. Always listen to local radio and television stations to be aware of the latest emergency information.
4. Special assistance should be extended to neighbours who need help—elderly people, infants, and those who are physically challenged.
5. Always watch as floods may occur after a landslide of debris flow.
cover can lead to flash flooding.

6. Immediately report to appropriate authorities
broke utility lines.
Further hazards and injury can be prevented.
7. Damaged ground should immediately be
replanted since erosion caused by loss of
ground cover
can lead to flash flooding.
8. Professional advice should be sought from
geotechnical expert for landslide evaluation
hazards or designing corrective techniques to
reduce landslides.

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