Reading Time: minutes

It's already been over six months since the government launched a nationwide campaign to inform and get everyone to prepare for the impending 'Big One', or the massive earthquake that threatens to destroy the Philippine capital Metro Manila and nearby provinces Rizal, Cavite, Bulacan, and Laguna. Despite the warnings, several homes and offices remain unprepared and unaware of what to do should disaster strikes. Here are some tips to help you earthquake-proof your home and office:

1. Make your own disaster movie.

Simply put, create different disaster storylines and scenarios and prepare for each one. For example, it is afternoon and you are in the office when the earthquake strikes. What should you do? Drop, look for cover, and hold on to your head and neck to reduce injury. Make sure you have a pair of rubber shoes in the office as you cannot evacuate the building and run wearing heels. Be specific with the storylines-what should you do if it happens at night and you are already asleep? Do you have a nearby flashlight and emergency kit? What can fall from the ceiling? Where can you find cover? The more specific the storyline, the better prepared you can be.

2. Look for hazardous objects at home and in the office.

Are the bookshelves properly secured? What else can fall during the earthquake? Chandeliers, ceiling fans, tall furniture, mirrors and pictures--look for hazardous objects that could fall or slide during shaking and fix them ASAP. If you cook using LPG, make sure it is switched off when it's not in use. Make sure your cabinets and doors are properly secured by installing latches.

3. Get your emergency disaster kit ready.

You would need at least three kits in different locations: one at home, in the car, and at the workplace. You should have at least a gallon of water per person, including pets. Next, stock up on non-perishable food such as canned food, dried fruit, granola bars, powdered sports drinks, etc. You should also have a first aid kit complete with medications, bandages, antiseptic wipes, alcohol and gauze. Flashlight with extra batteries is also a must, as well as candles and waterproof matches. You should also set aside some cash and keep it in a fanny pack, along with important documents such as your passport and land titles. Make sure you also have a change of clothes and comfortable walking shoes so you are ready in case you need to travel on foot.

4. Set up a disaster recovery center.

Setting up shop in locations outside of Metro Manila would be advisable to ensure that your operations won't completely stop in the event that Metro Manila experiences a powerful earthquake. Some of the top next-wave cities you could consider are Clark and Cebu.