On average, the Philippines is visited by 20 typhoons a year or tropical cyclones. In the last few years, the country has experienced super typhoons that wreaked havoc on islands, cities, and towns that left thousands of its citizens homeless, crippled and suffering.
When facing that number of typhoons in a year, being unprepared is the last thing that you want to happen. Especially now, as the country is bracing for the storm Auring.
But despite the bad things and the onslaught brought by them, we can prevent the worst scenario from happening with careful planning and preparations. And fortunately, getting a hold of this information of where the heavy rainfall is gonna hit has become easier. Since we have the tv, radios and most of all, the internet on our side.
Outline of this Article
Things to prepare BEFORE THE TYPHOON
These things will be essential for us during and after the storm passes.
This is also one of the most essential things that you should be storing beforehand. After a storm passes, water pipes could get damaged resulting in the contamination of water. Storing these would reduce the risks of your family getting health problems. You can use the water for cleaning or cooking purposes.
Storing food away during these times is a must. Tacloban, one of the cities seriously hit by Yolanda back then, became a no man’s land because of the uncontrollable chaos and anarchical circumstances that transpired.
And one of the root causes was because of a food shortage. Just to be safe, you should prepare canned goods, noodles or any food that would last long enough for establishments near your area to open their stores again.
Electrical lines are more likely to get cut off than not during storms. Despite the possible constraint, you need to make sure you can keep in touch with the outside world.
Keep your mobile phones charged just in case you need it for emergency calls and such. Smartphones can also connect via net or radio so you can keep up with the latest happenings despite the loss of power – their batteries dry quicker compared to the old fashioned ones though, so keep a few fully charged spares in store just in case.
If you can have power charges as many as you think you can afford, then that would help you in re-energizing the battery life of your smartphones and even feature phones.
A Change of Clothes
If you’re moving out of your house into an evacuation center, make sure you’re bringing a few spare clothes with you. You’ll get wet easily during those times, and staying on wet clothing is potentially hazardous to your health.
The wellbeing of your family and yourself comes first above all else. Having these kits will prepare you for the worst to come. The kits should carry the necessary first aid essentials like antiseptic, bandages, medicines (for colds, fever, etc.) and more.
You should also keep in those kits emergency cash, flashlights and extra batteries, fully charged cell phones and whistles or something that would catch the attention of someone.
A small variety of flashlights should be included in your emergency kits. A bigger variation of these artificial lights should be acquired to provide the necessary lighting during darker days where electric lines are cut off.
Flashlights are very useful in traversing the roads or indoors, especially when the sun goes down and the electricity still hasn’t gone up.
Candles can also be used but refrain from using them if you can – a careless act with these can easily burn a house.
Money will always be an essential tool for you. So always store what you’ll only use for these kinds of situations. They can be a real life-saver.
- Prepare some canned food or anything that won’t go spoiled for days. Along with that, store some drinking water as well. You might have to live on without any food supplies for days after the storm.
- Always have a general knowledge about the terrain in your home. Plan a meeting place beforehand with your family, in case you’ll get separated.
- Identify your residence if it’s near a dam. If yes, then determine the potential hazard where you’re staying. You must plan an exit strategy in the event of overflow.
- Learn the locations of the evacuation centers of your community and how to get to them.
- Fasten your roof of your house to make sure they won’t get picked up by the storm. Use something heavy to pin them down or bind them with ropes to do so.
- Cover your windows, especially if they’re made of glass. Use wooden boards to do so.
- Big trees in the proximity of your house should be trimmed down to lessen their chances of being brought down by the storm.
- Clean the gutters to reduce flooding.
- Any equipment or tools left outside the house should be brought inside – don’t leave anything scattered outside.
- For houses with garage houses, secure it and reinforce it to make sure it doesn’t get opened by the storm.
- If you’re living in a high-rise building, go and stay at least below the 10th floor of that building.
- If you live near the sea or river, evacuate your homes immediately and find a center to stay.
- If you’re planning on leaving your house, make sure it’s secured – aside from the coming storm, you also need to watch out for theft.
PRECAUTION: Every potential object found outside during a storm is also a potential projectile bound to hit someone.
What to do DURING THE TYPHOON
When you feel the winds starting to pick up, along with heavy rainfall, that could only mean your unwelcome guest has arrived.
Here’s what you need to do when it does happen.
- Keep your eyes and ears open. Anything could happen in an instant. Always be updated with the latest happenings by listening to the news on the radio or TV.
- Don’t go outside unless you need to evacuate or an emergency situation has happened.
- Secure your home and turn off your appliances. Turn off your LPG tanks as well.
- Save the batteries on your phone for emergency calls.
Evacuate your home or location in the following situations:
- If the local authorities have urged you (and even arranged a rescue team for you) to evacuate.
- If your home structure is weak (e.g made from light materials) and is easily susceptible to being blown away by the winds.
- If you live in a high-rise building.
- If you live near a body of water (e.g sea, river) or a place that easily gets flooded.
If you can’t evacuate, here’s what you need to do:
- Never go out or near a window until the storm subsides.
- Keep your windows closed at all times – winds may temporarily die down, but it could be because the eye of the storm just passed through your area.
- Avoid staying on the higher levels of your house.
- Lie under a sturdy object – a hard table for instance.
- Steer away from using the elevators.
What to do AFTER THE TYPHOON
Here’s what you need to do right after the storm subsides.
- Keep listening to the latest news on the radio and TV. If there is no electricity, make sure your radio has enough batteries.
- Watch out for continued rains and flooding – they may still persist despite the storm being gone.
- If you’ve gotten separated with your family, make sure to remember your meeting plans and meet at the desired place. You can also call them if they have their phones with them.
- If you’re staying in a shelter, ask the local officials first if it’s safe to go back to your homes.
- When walking through the roads, watch out for broken poles and electric lines – these can get pretty hazardous especially on a wet or on a flooded road.
- Inspect your house to see if there are any damages. Try to look out for broken gas pipes or exposed power lines – if you see any of these two, keep away from them and immediately call the companies servicing them.
- Use flashlights and not candles – the latter can easily start a fire in these situations.
- Watch out for your surroundings. You may have some unexpected visitors in your backyard in the form of snakes and other potentially dangerous animals.
- Check your stored food and only use water you stored beforehand when cooking – tap water may be contaminated.
- Refrain from using a generator (if you have one) inside the house as electricity and floods can be a dangerous mix.
Don’t Underestimate The Dangers Brought by Typhoons
When it comes to typhoons, one can never be too careful. Underestimating the dangers that it brings or any act of carelessness during the storm is enough for one to lose a limb, or worse, lose his or her life. It is imperative that we educate ourselves and review the things we must do BEFORE, DURING and AFTER a Typhoon.
Always take the necessary precautions and get your hands on every information you can get, as it’s going to help you prepare and prevent any unnecessary damages or losses from happening.
EMERGENCY HOTLINES (RESCUE)
- San Juan City. 8238-43-33
- Paranaque City. 8829-09-22
- Muntinlupa City. 8925-43-51
- Valenzuela City. 292-14-05/0915-2598376
- Makati City. 8870-11-91/8870-14-60
- Caloocan (south). 8288-77-17
- Caloocan (north). 8277-28-85
- Mandaluyong City. 8532-21-89/ 8532-24-02
- Marikina City. 8646-24-36/ 8646-24-26
- Pasig City. 8632-00-99
- Pateros 8642-51-59
- Manila. 8927-13-35/ 8978-53-12
- Taguig City. 0917-550-3727
- Caloocan. 8366-03-80
- Paranaque. 8836-47-90
- Mandaluyong. 8571-98-94/ 8986-99-52
- Manila. 8527-21-61/ 8527-35-95
- Makati. 8403-62-67/ 8403-58-26
- Quezon City. 0917-854-2956
- Valenzuela 432-02-73
NATIONAL HOTLINE – 911
Quezon City. – 122
UNTV. – 911-86-88
RIZAL PROVINCE(Region 4A)
- Tanay. 8655-17-73
- Cardona. 954-97-28/0915-612-6631
- Teresa. 0920-972-3731
- San Mateo 781-68-20
- Rodriguez. 531-61-06
- Angono. 451-17-11
- Morong 212-57-41/0926-691-4281
- Antipolo 234-2676/734-2470
CAVITE PROVINCE(Region 4A)
- Imus. (046) 471-06-29/0998-8499635
- Rosario. (046) 432-05-26/0917-7936767
- Silang. (046) 414-37-76
- Dasmariñas (046) 683-09-38/513-17-66
- Tagaytay. (046) 483-04-46/0927-8569979
RED CROSS(Cavite Area)
- Cavite City (046) 431-05-62/484-62-66
- Dasmariñas. (046)402-62-67/0916-2450527
BATANGAS PROVINCE (Region 4A)
- Rosario. (043) 311-29-35/0917-5313884
- Ibaan PNP. (043) 311-73-44
- Lipa Red Cross (043) 740-07-68
QUEZON PROVINCE (Region 4A)
- Atimonan. 0956-5523686/0908-9832111
Radio Freq.: 147.150 mhz
- Tiaong. (042) 545-91-87/0912-2226895
Radio Freq.: 146.150 mhz
PNP (042) 545-91-66
Fire. (042) 545-99-00
- Baler. 0920-594-19-06/0918-6626169
Radio Freq.: 152.020 mhz
- Meycauayan Bulacan
Rescue – (044)323-04-04
Fire – (044)228-91-67
PNP – 0916-582-7475
- Malolos Bulacan
Rescue – (044)760-51-60
PNP – (044)796-24-83
Red Cross – (044)662-59-22
- Calumpit Bulacan
Rescue – (044)913-72-95
PNP – 0995-966-4427
Fire – (044)913-72-89
- Hagonoy Bulacan
Rescue – (044)793-58-11
- Baliuag Bulacan
Rescue – 0917-505-7827
- Norzagaray Bulacan
Rescue – 0916-359-0233
- Sta.Maria Bulacan
Rescue – 0925-773-7283
- Bustos Bulacan
Rescue – (044)761-10-98
- San Miguel Bulacan