In the past weeks, earthquakes have struck several densely populated areas in the country. To date, twin earthquakes have shaken Metro Manila, Batangas, and Mindoro; another has struck parts of Bicol and eastern Visayas; and more recently, a quake hit Lanao del Norte. The multiple earthquakes have fanned fears that the “Big One” is just around the corner.
The “Big One” is described by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) as a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that experts say may soon strike. It will be generated by the West Valley Fault, a 100-kilometer fault line on which major metropolitan centers and other major cities and provinces lie. Studies warn that the “Big One” could kill 34,000 people and injure 100,000 more. Damages to businesses and infrastructure may reach billions, if the estimated P1 billion in loss and damages caused by the February quake in Surigao del Norte is anything to go by.
Because it is hard to predict exactly when this quake will hit, Filipinos are being primed and encouraged to prepare for the disaster. This includes offices and companies where people spend most of their time in. Malayan Insurance equips you with surefire ways to brace your business, whether SME or a big corporation, against possible earthquake damage from the “Big One.”
- Identify and address hazards to your business.
Pay attention to the risks that may disrupt your business if an earthquake hits. This includes determining if the business property can withstand the quake, and storing specialized equipment properly. Businesses are also vulnerable to data loss, so make sure to routinely back up important files and secure confidential information.
- Create a disaster plan.
Internally, you should consider providing disaster preparedness training to your employees and staff. Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) can take advantage of low-cost options by consulting with the local fire and police department. The business owner should also take the initiative to collaborate with other local businesses and government units to determine what resources you can contribute in the event of a disaster.
- Conduct emergency drills regularly.
Train employees on what to do before, during, and after an earthquake. Learn where to evacuate and how to get there in case you suspect that your office or business will not be safe after a quake. It is advisable to do drills more than once, so that everyone will remember how to behave in an emergency situation.
- Prepare emergency supplies kits.
Outside resources will be spread thin after an earthquake, so businesses should have supplies on hand to support employees in the initial aftermath of a quake. First aid supplies are usually intended for day to day emergencies, so business owners should consider stockpiling extra medicines, bandages, antiseptics, and other necessaries. These additional supplies should be stored in case of a greater number and larger type of injuries.
- Shield your business with reliable insurance.
Invest in protection that you can count on in the event of an emergency. Malayan Insurance has Business Protect, your livelihood’s first line of defense if an earthquake results to damage or loss. The policy is equipped with property insurance, so you won’t need to worry about property loss or damage due to earthquake fire, and earthquake shock, smoke damage, and explosion, among others. On top of this, built-in extensions include debris removal, professional fees, and fire fighting expense.
To learn more about Malayan Insurance products and services, visit www.malayan.com.
Written by PIAA