MANILA — The Red Cross has issued safety tips for the public who will be joining the crowds on Pope Francis’ five-day visit in the Philippines.
Here are the PRC safety advice for participating crowds:
1. Inform your relatives of your whereabouts before leaving the house.
2.Upon arrival to any event, explore a little bit, take a loop around the area and look for the following key safety points:
a. Decide on a meeting place in case of separation, or transit stop before entering a venue.
b. Identify all exits which are closest to you, don’t limit yourself to the front entry, which will be a point of exodus should disaster strike.
3. Bring food, water and medicines. Being in the middle of an active crowd, you can get hot so drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated.
4. Bring any identification.
5. Bring mask (in case you are sensitive to dust) or gears for protection (goggles, helmet, etc.)
6. Identify locations of stations where you can get help/assistance (first aid, welfare, ambulance, water stations, emergency field hospitals, etc.).
7. Identify emergency hotlines to report any untoward incidents. Red Cross hotline 527-0000 or 143.
8. Wear closed shoes.
9. Do not bring children. If you feel that your child is mature enough (perhaps a savvy 10-year-old), agree on a designated meeting place in case you get separated. Have him/her repeat it aloud so it sticks. Never choose the entrance or parking lot. The ideal meeting place is an information center or welfare or first aid stations, since staff are used to dealing with lost kids.
10. Do not bring any valuables.
11. When you arrive, scope out the scene. Familiarize yourself with the venue’s layout. Take note of all emergency exits. And choose a meeting spot for your family, in the case anyone gets separated from the rest of the group.
12. Do not stand near or climb on temporary structures which could collapse under too much weight.
13. Do not position yourself in a movable object such as doors, stage or barricade. These provide no avenue of escape. The pressure from the crowd can crush your chest cavity cutting off your oxygen supply, which could cause asphyxiation.
14. If you find yourself in the middle of the crowd, don’t stand still or sit down – you can easily get trampled. Keep your legs moving in the direction of the crowd and try getting to the outside where the flow is.
To survive from a stampede
1. Keep to the wall. In the rare event of a stampede, try to move sideways to the crowd until you get to a wall. Then press yourself against it until the crowd dissipates, or you find a better exit.
2. Stay on your feet.
3. Conserve Energy – Don’t push against the crowd and don’t yell or scream.
4. Use sign language to communicate with those around you (point, wave, even use your eyes).
5. Keep your hands up by your chest, like a boxer – It gives you movement and protects your chest.
6. If you are knocked down to into a turtle position if possible. You do that by tucking your knees under your chest. When you attempt to stand again try to stand straight up.
7. Inhale and exhale with deep breaths. Fear will make it hard to breath.
8. If, when you find a side street/ side room keep looking for an exit and make more distance from the crowd. You don’t know if a sub-group will break off and head your way.
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The PRC noted different locations of Red Cross first aid stations:
Manila Cathedral – Jan. 16
1. Arsobispo cor. Andres Soriano Ave. near fire station
2. Cabildo st. cor. Andres Soriano Ave. near Chowking
Mall of Asia Arena –Jan. 16
3. Coral Way in front of SMX
4. Coral Way cor. Pacific Drive (near coral gate of MOA Arena)
5. Marina Way near mall proper of MOA
6. Marina Way cor. Pacific Drive (near Marina gate of MOA Arena)
7. Pacific Drive (South Wing Terminal)
8. MOA Globe (Rotonda) Diokno Blvd. near South Wing Terminal
9. MOA Globe (Rotonda) Diokno Blvd. in front of SM Corporate Offices Bldg. E
10.MOA Globe (Rotonda) Diokno Blvd. near North Wing Terminal
11. Pacific Drive cor. Sunset Avenue near North Wing Terminal
UST – Jan. 18
12. Tamayo Drive cor. Arellano Drive ( UST grounds)
13. Osmeña Drive cor. Arellano Drive (UST grounds)
14. Lacson Ave. across UST hospital
Quirino Grandstand – Jan. 18
15. South Drive cor. Roxas Blvd. near Museo Pambata
16. South Drive near Blue Bay and Ocean Park
17. South Drive near Carabao statue
18. Katigbak Drive near Roxas Blvd. inside the Quirino grounds
19. Katigbak Drive near the police station and Ocean Park
20. In front of Manila Hotel entrance
21. Bonifacio Drive cor. Katigbak near Manila Hotel
22. Padre Burgos Drive cor. Bonifacio Drive near Aquino Monument
23. Padre Burgos Drive cor. Palacio St. near Round Table
24. Valencia Circle near Lapu-Lapu Monument
25. Maria Orosa St. near Orchidarium
26. Rizal Park near the Fountain Area
27. Rizal Park near Chinese Garden
28. TM Kalaw St. in front of PNB
29. TM Kalaw St. across Jorge Bocobo St.