Here's What You Need to Know About This Year's Surprise #MMShakeDrill

From what to do and where to go.

PHOTO BY Metro Manila Development Authority Facebook Page

(SPOT.ph) The Metro Manila Development Authority began holding what it calls the "Shake Drill" in 2015 to test preparedness and equip Manileños with basic knowledge on how to act in the event of an earthquake. This drill is also held annually to prepare for what the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology calls "The Big One," or major movement in the West Valley Fault that they predict would have a devastating effect on Metro Manila. As the specific date of the drill has not been disclosed, it's best to stay prepared. Here's what you need to know to be ready, whenever this year's #MMShakeDrill might happen.

When will it happen?
The #MMShakeDrill is scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. on a certain day during the week of July 15 to 21. This year, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) decided to not disclose the date of the drill to the public, in an effort to gauge the public's preparedness for a drill that isn't staged. The start of the Shake Drill will be signaled by a text blast from local telecommunications companies, along with sirens from emergency vehicles, public-address systems in buildings, and church bells.

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What should you expect to happen during the drill?
Everyone is encouraged to participate in the #MMShakeDrill. Government agencies and local government units will be practicing their contingency earthquake plans, while private organizations (i.e. schools, offices) are asked to test their own evacuation strategies. For their part, the MMDA will be implementing Oplan Metro Yakal Plus, their contingency plan in the event of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.

What should you do during the drill?
If you're inside a building:

  • Stay calm.
  • Perform the duck, cover, hold maneuver for 45 seconds.
  • Evacuate to a safe, open area.

If you're inside a moving vehicle:

  • If you see traffic officers holding up signs signaling the start of the drill, stop for one minute.
  • In the event of a real earthquake, you should pull over to the side of the road and remain in your vehicle until the shaking stops. You should not attempt to cross any bridges or overpasses that could have been damaged.

If you're at your home:

  • Stay calm.
  • Perform the duck, cover, hold maneuver for 45 seconds.
  • You don't need to evacuate your house. However, in the event of a real earthquake, avoid glass windows, shelves, cabinets, and other heavy objects.

What is a safe, open area?
An area is safe if it is free from any power lines, posts, walls, buildings with glass panes, and other structures that may fall or collapse.

What should you do after the surprise #MMShakeDrill?
Preparing for earthquakes doesn't stop after the Shake Drill. Experts say that the "Big One" can take place within our lifetime, so it's best to be prepared just in case. Participating in the drill is one way to stay ready, and you might want to check out the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology's (PHIVOLCS) 'Earthquake Preparedness' guide, too.

Where should I go in the event of a real earthquake?
The MMDA has announced a list of evacuation centers for Metro Manila's four quadrants should a real earthquake occur. During the drill, participants are not required to go to the designated evacuation centers. But just in case, here are the following evacuation centers per quadrant:

  • NORTH QUADRANT (Caloocan, Mandaluyong, Valenzuela, San Juan City and Quezon City): Veterans Memorial Medical Center and Quezon Memorial Circle
  • EAST QUADRANT (Marikina and Pasig City): LRT-2 Santolan Station Depot
  • WEST QUADRANT (Malabon, Navotas and Manila): Intramuros Golf Course
  • SOUTH QUADRANT (Makati, Taguig, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Pinas, Pateros and Muntinlupa): Villamor Airbase Golf Course

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