CHECKLIST: What should households prepare for an earthquake

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CHECKLIST: What should households prepare for an earthquake
How are your families preparing for a major disaster?

MANILA, Philippines – Is your household prepared for the “Big One”? 

According to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), every household should be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed when dealing with earthquakes and other major disasters. (ALSO READ: How to prepare when disaster and emergency strike)

Preparing for the ‘Big One’

Once the West Valley Fault moves, various areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces are expected to be greatly damaged. The fault moves roughly every 400 years, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Director Renato Solidum. In the last 1,400 years, it has moved only 4 times. (READ: What dangers await when the West Valley Fault moves?)

If the 7.2-magnitude earthquake does happen, Metro Manila could run out of food and water for a week. Experts say that the “Big One” could happen in this lifetime.

Below is a list of earthquake preparedness measures provided by DILG – National Capital Region:


Stockpile at least 15 liters of water per person per day for drinking, cooking, and sanitary purposes.

  • FOOD

Keep a sufficient supply of DOST’s ready-to-eat meals for at least 72 hours up to preferably two weeks of individual consumption.


Preparation of individual ‘Go bags’ with potable bottled water, non-perishable meals, emergency kit, important family documents, flashlight, portable radio, and clothes at the minimum.


Prepare a family evacuation plan (where to meet when a massive earthquake happens) and maintenance of a directory of emergency contact numbers.


Have at least one family member who is trained on Basic Life Support – First Aid (BLSFA), use of fire extinguishers, and other lifesaving skills.


Assess one’s house integrity through the DOST-PHIVOLCS checklist, “How Safe is My House.”

Duck, Cover, Hold

Phivolcs has these survival tips when an earthquake strikes:

  • Stay indoors if you are already in a house or a structurally-sound building

  • Duck, cover, and hold on to something sturdy

  • Evacuate to a safe open space after the shaking stops


While earthquakes cannot really be predicted, households can still reduce the risks and possible damages by proper planning and careful preparation. 

How are your families preparing for a major disaster? Let us know in the comments or write your thoughts on X– with reports from Kaye Cabal/

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