DSWD Tips for Floods, Earthquakes, and Fires

In cases of natural calamities such as floods and earthquakes, as well as man-made emergencies like fire incidents, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is ever ready to help. Specifically, the department’s Disaster Response Management Bureau or DRMB is tasked to make sure that the response of the Philippine government to disasters is well-coordinated.

But how about you? Are you and your family ready for such disasters and emergencies? Do you have an emergency plan in place? In this article, we will talk about how you can best prepare for natural and man-made emergencies, as prescribed by the DSWD.

DSWD Tips Floods Earthquakes Fires
Image Credit: ncr.dswd.gov.ph

Calamities and Emergencies: Tips from DSWD

To help prepare families in facing emergencies like floods, fire incidents, and earthquakes, the DSWD Field Office NCR – Disaster Response Management Division prepared a “disaster preparedness leaflet.” This article is based on the leaflet, which suggests what people should do before, during, and after an emergency.

Flooding Tips

What to do before and during a typhoon? Read on to find out!

Things to Do Before a Typhoon

Thanks to modern technology, weather forecasts can predict when a typhoon would hit, including how “big” it is and how strong the winds would be. Before it comes, here are some suggestions:

  • Keep your surroundings clean.
  • Make sure that your electricity connections are strong and safe.
  • Make sure that your house and roof can withstand strong winds.
  • Store enough food and clean, drinking water.
  • Prepare an “emergency kit.” (More on this below).
  • Store important and valuable items in a safe place.
  • Go to the nearest evacuation center in your area if necessary.

Things to Do During a Typhoon

When the typhoon hits, here are some things you should do:

  • Avoid going out during the typhoon.
  • Stay in your house if it is safe, or go to a safer place (e.g. evacuation center).
  • Follow the latest news and updates on the radio or TV.
  • Beware of open canals, sewers, and other places where water flows.

Earthquake Tips

According to studies, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake or “the big one” could affect Metro Manila and nearby provinces because of the movement of the West Valley Fault. If this happens:

  • There could be 35,000 fatalities;
  • 115,000 people could get wounded;
  • 170,000 house structures could collapse;
  • 3 million people could lose their homes;
  • Many roads and bridges could be unpassable;
  • Lines for communication, water, and electricity could disconnect; and
  • Aftershocks, tsunamis, fire, and other emergencies could happen.

Things to Do Before an Earthquake

“The big one” may or may not happen, but it is always a good idea to be prepared. Here’s how we can get ready for an earthquake:

  • Inspect the internal and external structure of your house.
  • Store glass and other “breakable” items in a safe place.
  • Store heavy items in a low place (e.g. ground floor).
  • Identify and be aware of “emergency exits.”

Things to Do During an Earthquake

When an earthquake happens, take note of these tips:

  • Stay calm, keep your mind clear, and do not panic.
  • “Duck, cover, hold, and hide” under a table, bed, sofa, or any stable structure.
  • After the first “quake,” turn of the main electricity switch.
  • Make sure that the gas tank is tightly closed.
  • Beware of falling posts or electric wires.
  • If you are inside a running vehicle, switch off the engine in a place that’s far from tall buildings.

Fire Tips

Fire is an unfortunate incident that can be avoided, as long as we follow these tips:

Things to Do to Prevent Fire

  • Don’t leave burning candles and unplug all appliances before you leave the house.
  • Keep matches, lighters, chemicals and other flammable items out of reach of children.
  • Use an ash tray whenever you decide to smoke.
  • Store important documents in one place, so you can easily get it in case of fire.
  • Sleep with the door closed; this can slow down the spread of fire and smoke.

Things to Do During a Fire Emergency

During a fire emergency:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a wet handkerchief to avoid inhaling smoke, which contains harmful chemicals.
  • When a fire happens in a building, remain in the lower levels; fire usually happens in higher levels.
  • Make sure that you and your companions are safe. If you can, use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. But if you are not sure how to use it, it is best to leave the burning house or building.

Additional Tips

Now that you have a better idea on what to do during a typhoon, earthquake, or fire — here are some more tips to keep in mind.

What to Prepare Before an Emergency

Every family should have an “emergency kit,” which includes:

  • One gallon of water per person per day;
  • Food that’s enough for three days;
  • Radio;
  • Manual can opener;
  • Flash light and extra betteries;
  • Hygiene kit;
  • First aid kit;
  • Whistles;
  • Dust masks;
  • Cellphones and chargers; and
  • Important documents.

In addition, create a “disaster emergency plan” with your family. Make sure that everyone knows what to do, including exit routes, emergency contact numbers, and other important details.

What to Do After an Emergency

After an emergency, you should:

  • Find out the extent of the disaster’s effect in your area.
  • Inform authorities about the effects to that they can provide the necessary help and assistance.
  • Cooperate and help one another to address immediate and long-term needs.

Disaster Preparedness Leaflet

As mentioned earlier, the information in this article was based on a leaflet created by the DSWD NCR – Disaster Response Management Division. Below is a copy of the leaflet, which is written in Filipino:

DSWD Tips Floods Earthquakes Fires

DSWD Tips Floods Earthquakes Fires
Image Credit: ncr.dswd.gov.ph

You can download, print, and share the above leaflet with your family and friends. Click this link to download the leaflet in its actual size.

Contact Information: DSWD Central Office

If you are based in the National Capital Region (NCR), you can learn more about disaster preparedness by getting in touch with the DSWD Central Office, whose contact details are as follows:

Address: Batasang Pambansa Complex, Constitution Hills, Quezon City, Philippines, 1126
Telephone: (02) 8931 8101 to 07
Website: https://www.dswd.gov.ph/

Google Map:

NOTE: If you are based outside the NCR, not to worry because the DSWD has Field Offices across the Philippines. Visit this link to see the directory of DSWD Field Offices.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to emergencies, it’s always best to be prepared. We hope that you have learned a lot of tips from this article; be sure to share it with your family and friends, too!

Speaking of emergencies, another DSWD initiative that deals with natural calamities is Team Balikatan Rescue in Emergencies, a.k.a. “TeamBRE.” Read this article to know all about it!