Fact: The Philippines is ranked by the UN as 3rd most disaster-prone country in the world. Yikes! What’s more (and we’re sure you already know this), there’s a massive 7.2 earthquake that’s expected to hit Manila in the near future—and we need to be ready as early as now.
We wouldn’t want any of your beauties to be caught all unawares. So if you have some free time this weekend, here’s a guide to assembling your very own earthquake safety kit. After all, a kikay kit isn’t the only thing a smart girl should know like the back of her hand!
1. Food & Water
The first items to go into your survival kit should be ones that address your most basic needs: food and water. Each person should have at least 1 gallon of water each per day—half for drinking and half for sanitation purposes. For food, pack items that are readily consumable and have a long shelf-life, such as canned goods, crackers, and sweets. Make sure your supply is enough to get by for at least 3-5 days (and don’t forget the can opener!).
2. Basic Toiletries
Next on the list are your essentials for personal hygiene. The basics are a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, deodorant, wet wipes, and sanitary pads. You may be wondering if toiletries are really necessary, but it’s important to keep yourself clean even during disasters. Plus, maintaining a routine can often add a sense of normalcy to a bad situation.
3. First-Aid: Basic Medicine, Prescription Drugs, Insect Repellent
A first-aid kit is crucial in any emergency situation. Never forget to pack basic meds, such as vitamins, antibiotics, over-the-counter drugs, and prescription drugs for personal medical conditions. Insect repellent should also be included as an outdoor safety measure.
1. Personal Documents in a Sealed Plastic Envelope
Having your personal documents on-hand can be very helpful during a disaster because they provide identification and insurance. Keep them safe in a waterproof plastic folder and include copies of all important documents: birth certificates, school diplomas, real estate deeds, medical records, marriage certificates, wills and trusts, and bank account information. TIP: As an extra precaution, scan your documents and organize them digitally in a small USB or hard-drive.
2. List of Emergency Contacts
This is essential for your own use and for relief organizations who may find you during a disaster. Your list of emergency numbers should include relevant government hotlines (like PNP and PAGASA), disaster relief organizations (such as Red Cross), and important family members (including relatives who live in other regions).
Make sure your list is in a physical form and kept in the waterproof folder with your other documents. Never rely on your cellphone to store important information because it could easily conk out during a disaster.
A survival kit should be packed as efficiently as possible, since you don’t want to be carrying too many things. Different items can serve multiple functions—garbage bags, for example, can be used as makeshift tents or ponchos in rainy weather. Here’s a checklist of what you should include:
• Duct tape
• Petroleum jelly
• Ziplock bags
• A roll of large garbage bags
• Extra clothes
• Extra cash
• Transistor or wind-up radio
• Flashlight with extra batteries
• Pocket knife
• Lighters or waterproof matches
• Rain gear, such as a jacket, umbrella, and rubber boots
• Stainless steel water container
• Local map
Once you’ve gathered all these items, keep everything in a sturdy and easy-to-carry backpack that you can grab in case of an evacuation.
Stay safe and pack smart, ladies!
Illustrations by Erika Gue