Several countries such as Indonesia, Fiji and Japan are under the constant threat of earthquakes and their residents are well aware of what to do when it comes. However, unprepared travellers may find themselves panicking and lost in such a situation.
In wake of the recent shocking news of Japan being hit by two devastating natural disasters in a row – Typhoon Jebi, Japan’s most powerful storm in 25 years, and a massive 6.7-magnitude earthquake that hit a few days after, holiday goers are reminded that proper preparation beyond your daily necessities is necessary. Check out some of our top survival tips to tick off the list before travelling to an earthquake-prone country.
Install A Disaster Alert App In Your Mobile Phone
Countries like Mexico, Japan, Italy, Taiwan, Turkey and USA already have early emergency alert systems in place that blast warning sirens or send texts to citizens to notify them of an imminent quake.
Subscribe or download these emergency warning applications and activate it when you are visiting countries susceptible to earthquakes. These apps may cost a small fee but the early warnings will buy you precious minutes to get you to safety.
Download An Offline Language Translator
An offline language translation app will assist your communication with the local people tremendously; especially in times of calamity because you will be asking for any help you can get.
This will come in handy when you are holidaying at a destination with a strong language barrier and you do not have a local friend or guide together with you.
Buy A Travel Insurance With Adequate Coverage
Often overlooked, a travel insurance is of utmost importance before embarking on any trip. This is particularly useful if you are heading to earthquake-prone areas.
Do your research and remember to choose a travel insurance that covers emergency evacuation, emergency phone charges, overseas medical costs and repatriation. It is also good to note down the insurer’s 24-hour emergency hotline and the relevant emergency phone numbers for the country too.
Tip: Do you know HyfeAssure offers the cheapest travel insurance in town with comprehensive coverage and instant claims at Changi Recommends’ counters? HyfeAssure covers travel delay/postponement, flight diversion/overbooking, trip cancellation and loss of deposit in the case of a natural disaster.
Make Sure You Know How To Ensure Your Own Safety
The long-established advice is to Drop Low, Take Cover and Hold On until the shaking stops. You can take a quick second to read through What to Do If You Encounter an Earthquake for more details.
But, simply knowing what to do in the event of an emergency is not sufficient because you may lose your composure during traumatic situations. Emergency experts recommend trying to visualise the scenario in your mind and doing a trial on your own – just like a mental fire drill. If you have children, run through the steps with them so that they know their parts too.
If you happen to be located near the coastline when an earthquake strikes, the possibility of a tsunami aftermath is very real. When the quaking subsides, quickly seek safety on higher grounds.
Prepare An Emergency Kit
There may be electricity outage, lack of potable water and other undesirable consequences, depending on the severity of the damage and the resulting aftershocks.
Even as a tourist staying in a fancy hotel, you should take safety precautions. It will be wise to be equipped with a small emergency kit that can be used after an earthquake.
The basic items should include a simple first aid kit, a whistle for signaling help, water and non-perishable food. A backup battery or a powerbank for your mobile phone might come in handy too because you can use your phone to call for help or as a torchlight.
Keep Calm And Do Not Panic
Lastly, as difficult as this might sound, keeping calm is beneficial in all disaster scenarios. Time is of essence, so aim to stay clear-headed and quickly assess the situation, plan an escape route and try your best to manage the chaos.
With these survival tips in mind, we hope you travel smart and safe!
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