Disaster-Prone, West Papuan Must Know Disaster Preparedness

The importance of Disaster preparedness

Located between two active tectonic plates, West Papua is one area in Indonesia that is very prone to disasters. ccording to expert estimates, disasters will threaten many in 2023. [1] [2] So, it would be better if the community are aware of disaster preparedness.

Obviously, the awareness of disaster preparedness in West Papua must be improved. People need to know about what to do before, during, and after a disaster happens. The more people are aware, the less damage will occur due to the disaster. So, here is more explanation about it!

What To Do before The Disaster

Disaster preparedness must be improved

Before a disaster occurs, you may feel too relaxed and do nothing because you think there is nothing you can do. However, a natural disaster in West Papua can happen anytime. Starting from earthquakes, floods, and landslides can all happen suddenly.

Planning is the key to safety. That is why making a plan is important so you do not get surprised when it happens.”

So, if you are wondering what to do before a disaster, here are some plans that could help! 

1. Take a Training about Disaster Mitigation

In order to reduce disaster risk, knowing how to do disaster mitigation is very important. It is even written in Law Number 24 of 2007 about disaster mitigation. In general, disaster mitigation means all the efforts, starting from prevention before a disaster occurs to handling after it happened. [3]

Usually, the government or private institutions often open training classes for disaster mitigation. If there is time and opportunity, there is nothing wrong with taking this class to increase your knowledge. 

2. Keep Important Documents in a Safe Place and Prepare for Emergency Logistics 

When a disaster occurs, one of the most detrimental things is the loss of legal and important documents. That is why you can keep it in a safe place, such as a waterproof bag. So, when disasters such as floods, earthquakes, or landslides occur, the damage can be minimized.

Do not forget to prepare emergency logistics and place it in an easily visible place. Moreover, if the government has already given an early warning if there is a potential disaster. [4]

3. Plan Emergency Communication Methods with Friends and Family

In the event of a disaster, it is very likely that you will be separated, or even need to separate, from friends and family. That is why making a plan on how to communicate when there is an emergency is important. Plan where you will meet and where you will look for each other.  

What To Do during The Disaster

As you already know, disasters always come suddenly. Even if there is an early warning, you will sometimes panic when it finally arrives. Then, what to do during a disaster? Here are some of them! 

1. Identify Safe Places to Take Shelter During a Disaster

The first thing that you should do is identify safe places to take shelter. If there is an earthquake, you must take cover behind a hard object like a table. Then, avoid being in a place close to the glass. If you are outside, then avoid trees or electricity poles because there is a potential for them to fall. 

When you feel that the situation is under control, you can immediately look for routes and ways of evacuation. [5]

2. Prioritize Your Own Safety

Honestly, it is understandable if you want to keep all your possessions when there is a disaster. However, it will feel useless if you fail to save yourself. So, forget about jewelry, clothes, etc. [6] This is because items can be obtained at any other time, but you cannot live twice. 

What To Do after The Disaster

Disaster preparedness will help affected communities

Then, when the atmosphere already feels calmer after a disaster is over, do the following things!

1. Help Others Immediately, Especially Vulnerable Groups 

The first thing you do is help others that you can help. Especially the vulnerable groups, such as children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and pregnant women. 

2. Immediately Build Vital Facilities and Infrastructure

Then, immediately building vital facilities and infrastructure, such as shelter, are also an important step in disaster preparedness. You can help the community to build temporary beds, public kitchens, etc.