MANILA - After experiencing a series of earthquakes the past few days, Caritas Manila, the social arm of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines, strongly urges Filipinos to be earthquake-ready by preparing a "Go Bag" or an emergency bag in case another earthquake hits.
Caritas Manila has prepared at least 500 Go Bags both for distribution to various affected communities or dioceses, as well as for individual and corporate purchase.
The Go Bags will be distributed to dioceses affected by the magnitude 6.1 earthquake in Luzon, such as the Diocese of Pampanga.
"This time, Caritas is focusing not only on emergency response but in disaster preparedness. Given the trend of earthquakes since last Monday, April 22, we are urging everyone to be prepared and to have a Go Bag ready in case another earthquake occurs," Fr. Anton Pascual, executive director of Caritas Manila, said.
The Caritas Go Bag is a knapsack filled with essential items such as a first aid kit with iodine, alcohol, cotton balls, gauze bandage, paracetamol, paracetamol syrup, and water purifying tables. It also includes a hygiene kit with underwear for both men and women, feminine hygiene products, bath soap, shampoo and toilet paper.
Also included in the bag is a 18-meter nylon rope, duct tape, gloves, a solar lamp with radio and a whistle that is attached to a compass and flashlight. There is also a mosquito net and waterproof envelope for documents.
As the social arm of the Catholic Church, the Caritas Go Bag also comes with a rosary.
For those who don't have time to prepare their own emergency bags, Caritas offers Go Bags for sale at P2,500 for an individual Go Bag, and P4,400 for a family pack.
Caritas also welcomes purchases of Go Bags that will be given as donations to various Caritas beneficiaries.
Employers are also encouraged to purchase emergency kits for their employees as part of their corporate social responsibility.
Aside from educating communities of the parishes in different parts of the country, Caritas also encourages everyone to pray that the country be spared from further earthquakes.
"Let us continue to be vigilant and pray that our country be spared from calamities," Pascual said. "But let us also be prepared."