Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What's Shaking in Indonesia and a Lesson on Emergency Prepardness

If you've seen the news lately than you may have heard about the recent earthquakes that hit Indonesia. On Wednesday afternoon a 8.6 and 8.2-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Aceh Province in Sumatra. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a tsunami warning however no major damage was reported. For more information you can check out news reports from BBC World News here and CBC here

I'm happy to report that here in Flores all is well. I didn't feel a thing here and was actually sitting through the a very long  75th birthday celebration for a man I'd never met when we received notice from VSO about the earthquake. For a quick refresher Ende is here and although it is surrounded by two active volcanoes and does experience small tremors from time to time is relatively safe. Aceh province in Sumatra where the recent earthquakes occurred is also the location of the devastating earthquake/tsunami in 2004 that killed 170,000 people in the region. 

All of this serves a good reminder that we all need to be prepared for the unexpected. So here are some useful reminders to help keep you safe:
  1. If you are a Canadian traveller or expat living overseas make sure to register with Foreign Affairs Canada so they can update you on any security risks/natural disasters in the area you are travelling. 
  2. Know the location of all important documents in case you need to be evacuated in a hurry. Better yet keep electronic copies in your email of important documents such as passport, travel visas, ID, travel insurance. 
  3. Plan ahead, especially if you are living in an area for awhile, find out where the evacuation routes are in your town and how you would access them in an emergency.
  4. Keep emergency contact numbers on you at all times, whether this be your travel insurance provider, your parents, your husband/wife or your employer know who you need to get in contact with in the case of emergency in advance. 
  5. If you have a cellphone make sure its charged and has pulsa/credit at all times. 

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