'Preppers': Call them paranoid, but they’re geared up for disaster

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(CNN Philippines) — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has repeatedly warned the public that a devastating 7.2-magnitude earthquake could hit Metro Manila at any time.

With this and all the natural disasters occurring in and out of the country, some Filipinos believe that a catastrophic emergency is inevitable and will occur sooner or later.

Preppers or survivalists are actively preparing for these destructive events.

They believe that when disasters, such as an earthquake or a super typhoon, strike, one's survival will depend on how much preparation one has done.

Survivalist Arvin Logarta cited the devastation brought by Typhoon Yolanda (internationally known as Haiyan) on November 2013 as the perfect example on why one must prepare way ahead for disasters.

"In disaster areas, especially last time during Yolanda, the government does not come to [ immediately help] you. You have yourself to rely on," he said.

Logarta always brings a "get home" bag with basic essentials wherever he goes. It contains a flashlight, a first aid kit, some snacks and water, a knife or a multitool, a whistle, a face mask, a pair of gloves, and comfortable shoes assuming you have to walk home.

He said the contents of his "get home" bag will help him survive for three days.

Related: MMDA wants no-work day for proposed metrowide quake drill

Aside from a "get home" bag, Logarta said survivalists also keep a "bug out" bag at home, which they will bring with them in case an evacuation is necessary.

A "bug out" bag is pretty much a bigger "get home" bag, but with additional items such as chargers, fire starters, batteries, solar powered or hand-cranked radios, two-way radios, bigger knives or machetes, paracords, water purifier, hygiene kits, medicines, compass, sleeping mats, hammocks, and extra sets clothes.

Some "bug out" bags, though packed, could even float in water and may double as a floating device if needed.

These items, however, don't have to be expensive. One may create a "get home" bag for as low as P1,500 and a "bug out" bag for as low as P3,000.

Maurie Ocampo, another survivalist, has another bag for his important documents. This contains his passport, birth certificate, and other official documents.

He said this bag is important because he could easily grab it in case a fire hits his home.

Ocampo has also packed his vehicle with canned goods and a tent for long hauls.

In extreme situations, if house in Manila has been destroyed by an earthquake, he has a place in the province where he can relocate to.

Ocampo has made sure that his "bug out" house in the province has ample water supply and a farm where he can produce food.

He also said it is important to know how to survive when your supply has already been depleted.

"Dapat alam mo ang mga plants na pwedeng kainin o gawing gamot. Dapat marunong kang gumawa ng apoy," he said.

[Translation: "You have to know which plants are edible or medicinal. You have to know how to start a fire."]

Many regard survivalists or preppers as paranoid people because they prepare so much for incidents that may never occur in their lifetime.

But what's important to these preppers is that they feel confident that, with survival gear at hand, they can go through an earthquake and other disasters.

[Editor's note: CNN Philippines will have a special coverage of the Metro Manila shake drill on July 30, 2015 starting at 10:30 a.m. CNN Philippines is available on free tv: Manila RPN – TV 9;  Destiny Ch.14; Cablelink Ch.14; Cignal Ch.10; Sky Cable (Manila) Ch.14; and via livestream on cnnphilippines.com/videos.]