By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Cynthia Villar on Thursday urged the public to come up with their own emergency plans for times of calamities.
Villar made the appeal following the strong 6.1 magnitude earthquake in Zambales on Monday and the 6.5 magnitude earthquake in Eastern Samar the next day.
She said each household should prepare their own emergency procedure and not depend merely on government interventions.
“Our family emergency plan should supplement our government’s disaster-preparedness program. We cannot depend on the rescuers to immediately come to our aid when disaster strikes. We should be ready to help ourselves and our family members to be safe,” Villar said in a statement.
For Villar, the successive tremors in the country “remind us that a bigger disaster looms.”
She particularly raised the so-called “Big One” or the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that is predicted to bring massive casualties and widespread destruction in Metro Manila and other neighboring provinces.
But Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) director Renato Solidum had repeatedly said in various interviews that the recent earthquakes are not preludes to the Big One since the West Valley Fault that will trigger it is not connected to the faults that caused the temblors.
Still, Villar said the people should heed the reminders of authorities to come up with an emergency plan.
She said this includes packing an emergency kit; drawing up an evacuation plan, and designating a place where family members could meet in case they are not together during the natural and man-made emergencies.
“Empowering the families so that they may be able to prepare and respond to emergencies will help lessen destruction, injuries and the loss of lives,” Villar pointed out.
“As we always say, nobody can predict when and where the next big disaster would come so we have to involve everybody in preparing for it,” she added.