The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Welfare Services and medical teams were first on the scene to give relief and rescue assistance to the people of Batangas after a magnitude 5.5 earthquake shook the province on Tuesday, April 4.
According to PRC Operations Center, PRC first aid and welfare staff and volunteers were immediately deployed to assess the area and help the affected families. In response, PRC Batangas Chapter provided First Aid to two students who had suffered from hyperventilation and dizziness, transported one student from Batangas National High School to the Ospital ng Lipa, assisted 19 intubated babies to PRC tents, provided psychosocial support to 50 individuals, and set up welfare desks, three tents, three units of generators, five folding beds, and five cot beds at the Batangas Medical Center. Nearby PRC chapters (NCR and Southern Luzon) were immediately alerted and are currently on standby for monitoring and further assistance, should it be necessary.
In anticipation of the “Big One,” PRC, with its trained 143 volunteers, has been preparing for years, and is fine-tuning its current response strategies to predicted large-scale disaster. Rubb halls, ambulances, emergency field hospitals (EFH), rescue trucks, pay loaders, water tankers, generators, and thousands of doctors, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), surgeons, trained first aiders, and Red Cross 143 volunteers are prepositioned in case a mass casualty incident happens.
PRC also has fire trucks and Humvees in its emergency fleet, as well as equipment that are necessary for surviving the first few days of the aftermath of the disaster, such as generators, satellite phones, portable comfort rooms, water bladders, and tents that can be used as temporary shelters.
Should said earthquake also take place, PRC also has its own humanitarian ship at its disposal, a twin-hulled vessel that cuts through extremely choppy seas. It runs at 20 knots, can accommodate 120 evacuees, together with 20 vehicles. It can be used as rapid transport and landing vessel for Red Cross' emergency units. It will also serve as relief supply transport ship, medical facility deployment ship, sea rescue and mass evacuation vessel, humanitarian logistics ship, mobile operations command post, and humanitarian education and training ship.
PRC is reminding the public to be informed about what to do before, during, and after an earthquake. To help equip the public with life-saving skills, PRC created the Hazard App and the First Aid PH app, both available for free at the App Store and Google Play Store.
For more information, visit PRC’s website at www.redcross.org.ph.