Important earthquake safety tips for Filipino drivers

Jul 11, 2017 | Same topic: Survive driving in the Philippines
Lying along the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines frequently suffers from earthquakes and tsunami as well. Have you ever wondered how to survive driving during such natural disasters?
According to statistics of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), it has recorded 12 destructive earthquakes in the country since 1968. And in this year, we witnessed two huge earthquakes: a 6.7-magnitude earthquake on February 10 and a recent 2.4-magnitude one in Surigao del Norte, having posed threat to people’s lives, infrastructures and livelihood as well.

Though earthquakes are inevitable, you can properly prepare for them. Here are some handy tips Philkotse strongly suggests to secure your safety when encountering an earthquake.
 

During earthquake

1. Stay calm

We know that it is hard to keep calm in a situation like earthquake, but try your best not to panic as seen among Japanese who consider earthquakes an important part of their lives. 

Sometimes, you can’t remain calm since you are not sure what to do. Thus, be prepared and learn some survival tricks and most importantly, be confident of your own survival.

>>> Check out 5 essential car driving tips you need to know to survive the rainy weather in the Philippines.
 

2. Slow down and stop

You must stop your car as quickly as safety permits in best available space. Don't stop near, or under buildings, trees, overpasses, bridges, telephone posts and utility wires because they can fall onto your car in seconds. Moreover, if you’re steering near coastal waters, going to higher ground is of the utmost importance.
 
Picture of the dos and don'ts when driving during earthquakes

Don't stop near, or under buildings, trees, overpasses, bridges, telephone posts and utility wires 

>>> View more: How to safely drive on sand
 

3. Stay seated in your car

When earthquake happens, your beloved car will protect you as well as all passengers from most debris and falling objects.  

If you’re driving on a bridge, under an overpass or a Skyway, make sure to fasten your seat belt, roll windows completely down and just remain inside until the earthquake is over or municipal relief efforts come.

One more thing to take into consideration is never going under the car’s body as it’s difficult for you to get out. If a concrete falls on your vehicle, you certainly can’t avoid no matter where you are, even in a solid vehicle like an SUV.
 

After earthquake

1. Listen to the radio

the radio being turned on by the driver

Turn on your radio and listen for updated emergency information 

After an earthquake, it’s necessary to turn on your radio and listen for updated emergency information and instructions. Avoid using cell phone except for urgent calls.
 

2. Look for a safe place

Once the shaking have subsided, you should look around your area and when you find a clear and safe path, start the engine and move slowly towards a more secure place away from the damaged areas. While driving, remember to keep your eyes on the road cracks and other obstacles.
 
drawing of a car running on a cracked road

While driving, remember to keep your eyes on the road cracks and other obstacles

3. Be prepared for aftershocks

The earthquake may ends, but it will leave some aftershocks which can cause some damages in the form of fallen power lines, broken trees and telephone poles, etc. This means you’re still in danger. Thus, it is advisable to wait it out for a while.
 

In case of a Tsunami

As we mentioned above, if you are riding your vehicle near the beach, you should go to higher ground immediately because aftershocks of the earthquake will be tsunamis. So, keep our following tips in mind:
 

1. Abandon your car

people escaping from a car floating on water

Get out of your car and try to run as fast as possible to a higher area 

What a total waste of money! Nevertheless, it’s worth it as it can save your life. Get out of your car and try to run as fast as possible to a higher area before both your four-wheel machine and you are swept away.
 

2. Make for the flood

This will help your car float on water instead of getting crushed over sideways when the waters rush down. Further, you had better open your windows in order to escape easily in case the car is underwater.
 
a woman stuck in a sinking car

You had better open your windows in order to escape easily in case the car is underwater

>>> When you drive, unexpected car problems are unavoidable. Click here to take a look at some life-saving tips in certain driving situations.
 

In case your car is under a pile of debris or you get stuck inside the car

The first thing you should do is using your phone to call for help. Make sure that your cell phone must be always charged and you have the main emergency hotlines in your directory. The general emergency hotline for Metro Manila is (632) 911.

>>> If you don’t have necessary hotlines in your phone directory, “Emergency Calls in the Philippines” app will definitely help you. Learn more about 6 must-have apps for Filipino drivers by reading full our article.
 
cars under a pile of debris

When your car is under a pile of debris, the first thing you should do is using your phone to call for help

If your phone runs out of battery, the easiest way is honking your horn until someone comes to help. Assuming the horn doesn’t work, use anything that can make sounds to attract attention or even, you can break your windows and climb out.

In closing, hope that our useful tips in this article will assist you to survive this dreadful natural disaster.
 

 
How to survive driving during an earthquake

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