With the recent events in Masbate and Turkiye, many people are wondering how their homes will fare should a strong quake occur, particularly those living in a tall building like a condominium. 

Most, if not all, condo buyers go to great lengths to inspect the property’s safety, security, and stability to know how well it can withstand natural disasters like earthquakes. A condo with these characteristics gives you the protection you need in crucial moments.

Knowing what to do before, during, and after an earthquake is equally vital. This awareness can keep personal assets intact and save your family’s and others’ lives. 

Read on for earthquake safety measures to practice in your condo.

Condo Safety Tips: What to Do Before, During, and After an Earthquake

Earthquakes can occur without warning. Hence, knowing what to do during an earthquake in a tall building can help you have a disaster preparedness plan to find a safe place to take cover until the shaking stops and determine the best evacuation routes to manage the situation. 

Before the Earthquake

Because earthquakes are unpredictable, you must take proactive steps to avoid being overwhelmed should they strike. A disaster-ready mindset can be a powerful defense against earthquakes’ potential damage to your family and property. Here are the things you should put in place beforehand.

Develop an earthquake preparedness plan

Everyone in your family should know how to respond to an earthquake. In your earthquake preparedness plan, you must outline safety precautions like where to find shelter or exit, whom to contact, how to use a fire extinguisher if an earthquake triggers an explosion, etc.

Secure heavy pieces of furniture and fixtures

Earthquakes can cause structures and objects to fall on someone and inflict serious injuries, so it’s best to avoid this possibility, starting with your condo furnishings. Frame and keep bookcases or other shelvings in place using sturdy wood or metal wall studs. Other heavy furniture pieces should rest on the floor.

Pack an emergency kit

In extreme scenarios, you’ll need to evacuate your property and have access to essential items like food, water, medicine, means of communication, and other valuables. This situation might last for days, so ensure your emergency supplies won’t run out quickly by providing every family member with the following in individual kits.

  • Drinking water
  • Canned goods
  • Whistle
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Multipurpose tool
  • Phone, power bank, and charger
  • Warm clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Cash
  • Important documents and IDs

During the Earthquake

To reduce the risk of exposing yourself or your loved ones to danger, practice these safety behaviors during an earthquake

Stay calm

Earthquakes can be unnerving, but feeling frantic may only cause you to make wrong judgment calls. A calm mind reduces fear and anxiety, allowing you to focus on getting yourself and others to safety. Keeping your composure also lets you stick to the family’s emergency plan amid the frenzy.

Duck, cover, and hold

Safety experts recommend this technique to reduce the chances of injuries from earthquakes. The duck position involves dropping onto your hands and knees, letting you crawl under a sturdy table in your condo.

Then, use one of your arms and hands to protect your neck and head. Use the other hand to hold onto the table’s leg until the shaking stops.

Protect your head at all times

Since flying objects, debris, and other hazards are common during earthquakes, you must not let yourself be vulnerable to head injuries. Cover your head with suitable protection: your arms, a sturdy book, a pillow, or any cushion.

Watch out for hazards

Speaking of hazards, you can better protect yourself from them if you know what or where they are.

For example, gas stoves in the kitchen can tumble over and cause an ignition during an earthquake. Knives and glassware can also fall on someone, making the kitchen a dangerous zone. The same goes for areas near glass windows, as these can break from an earthquake’s impact

Don’t try to get out

Staying indoors can keep you out of harm’s way. On the contrary, running outside will require passing through areas with windows, walls, and stairs that may collapse and knock you to the ground.

Even running to other rooms is not advisable during an earthquake as the movement may cause you to lose balance—staying where you are in a duck, cover, and hold position is safer.

After the Earthquake

The shaking may be over, but that doesn’t mean you no longer need to be mindful of potential dangers as you recover from the shocks. Remember these tips.

Don’t ride the elevator

Earthquakes can destroy power lines. The condo’s property management team may also disable power throughout the building to check the extent of the damage or determine if any of the facilities should undergo repair.

Since the electrical supply may not be functional or stable, it’s best to refrain from using the elevator when leaving your unit. Take the stairs or evacuate the area via the emergency exits instead.

Follow the building’s evacuation procedures

Condo property management units typically post details about earthquake SOPs around the building. They also conduct regular safe evacuation drills to guide residents to exit routes, assembly points, first aid areas, etc. Take the time to familiarize yourself with these safety measures to avoid further confusion or injuries.

Provide first aid

Before checking others around you, check yourself for injuries and address those, if any, first. Then, perform proper first aid response until emergency responders arrive to assist or treat the injured.

Expect aftershocks

Even though aftershocks are usually low in magnitude, they can still cause damage to affected structures and people nearby. Since aftershocks can occur over the succeeding days or months, you must be ready to respond with the necessary precautions.

5 Safety Features of Condominium Buildings Against Earthquakes

Condominium developers consult experts on how to protect residents and their property against earthquakes. They also incorporate safety features into every aspect of condo construction, like materials, building design, and security systems.

Check how your condo fares in these areas for earthquake safety.   

1. Flexible foundation

Engineers use the base isolation method to make the condo’s foundation flexible. This technique entails lifting the condo’s base off the ground using lead, rubber, and lead pads to absorb seismic waves and isolate the building from shaking movements during earthquakes.

2. Dampers

Like the flexible pads mentioned above, dampers act as shock absorbers to weaken the pressure of earthquakes on a condo’s structure. By attaching dampers to columns and beams, the building counters the vibrations using special mechanisms involving pistons and oils.

Federal Land’s The Seasons Residences features Viscoelastic Coupling Dampers, a sophisticated earthquake vibration control technology from Japanese company PNS ASTech to stabilize the building and ensure safety and comfort of its residents

3. Quality materials

Making condominiums earthquake-resistant is also possible with construction materials that add durability and resiliency to the structure. For example, steel is excellent in supporting concrete buildings, while wood bolted to the structure’s foundation can withstand shaking from an earthquake.

4. Fire detection and alarm systems

Fires can occur following an earthquake, as candles, lamps, and stoves in the condo can topple over and trigger an ignition. You may also have difficulty getting to fire extinguishers and water supply during an earthquake.

As such, condo property management offices use early warning systems to alert building occupants of necessary evacuation and call for help from professionals. All projects of Federal Land have state-of-the-art fire detection and alarm systems (FDAS) to prevent fires and mitigate damages should they occur.

5. Illuminated evacuation exits

Exit signs are mandated by law for every building, guiding people toward a safe way out of the building during emergencies. Well-lit exit routes enable residents and visitors to evacuate the building promptly and safely amid power outage issues, common occurrences when an earthquake strikes.

Earthquake Safety in Your Condo

Earthquake safety awareness is a must-have skill, allowing you to save your life and those of others. Plus, knowing what to do and what not to do before, during, and after an earthquake can make a tremendous difference to your condo investment from a real estate company in the Philippines. 

Federal Land offers well-built and thoughtfully designed properties with careful consideration of structural integrity and building resilience. Whether you prefer RFO or pre-selling condominiums, Federal Land’s property arm, Federal Property Management Corp. (FPMC), has emergency and evacuation systems to ensure your safety and well-being during earthquakes and other calamities.

You can find Federal Land properties in prime spots with high investment potential in the Philippines. Check out their offerings now