Your preparedness for an emergency can mean the difference between life and death. And having alternative lines of communication between you and your loved ones means sparing them additional worry in case of an emergency situation. Overseas workers often have their family away from them, and emergency safety precautions are different because you also need to let each other know that each of you is safe. It also means that you are away from all that is familiar to you, and add to that an emergency situation, it can become a tricky spot.

Have an Emergency Kit

An emergency kit goes way beyond Band-Aids and ointments. In the Philippines, the Red Cross not only sells lifeline kits – they also list down what you need for a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) lifeline kit. It makes sense because we’re in the Pacific ring of fire and visited by various calamities throughout the year. Now, just because you’re not in a hazardous area doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared. Have one ready and in an easily accessible place.

Emergency Preparedness for Overseas Workers
Always know the exits in your building as part of your emergency preparedness.

Communication Lines

Give your family your manager’s contact information, and vice versa. In hiking, there is what we call a buddy-system, where you go in pairs, or make sure that your buddy knows exactly where you are at all times. As overseas workers, it makes sense because it’s all too easy to get lost in a city not your own. Introduce your buddy or buddies to your family, and have them exchange numbers, as an emergency precaution. Another number that you should have is your embassy’s contact information. Familiarize yourself with their location, so you’ll know where to go should there be a need to.

Keep Your Documents Safe

Emergency Preparedness for Overseas Workers
Keep some cash handy.

As overseas workers, your passport is one of the most important documents that you have. Keep it together with your other important documents (Iqama, birth certificates, visas, etc). Place it in a waterproof envelope and kept with the emergency kit. You can just grab it and go whenever any calamity strikes. The Philippine Red Cross even recommends that you keep a stash of cash with your kit.

Pets and Utilities

If you have pets, don’t be that person who goes viral because they forgot that pets can drown in a flood, too. Make provisions for them and don’t forget them if the government is asking you to evacuate. Lastly, don’t forget to turn off all your utilities before leaving.