10 Important Tips During Typhoon Season
The Philippines is no stranger to typhoons. In fact, as many as 20 typhoons hit our little island nation each year, simply because of geographic location. We are sitting just above the equator, facing west of the Pacific, without much else to break up the typhoons before they hit land. Our waters also have the warmest temperatures in the whole world, normally above 28°. The perfect temperature for a typhoon to form.
As many as nine typhoons make landfall, while another ten enter the Philippine area of responsibility. That’s not a small number, and the effects can be devastating. There’s damage to property amounting to millions. And more often than not, there’s also loss of lives.
Thanks to advanced weather technology, PAGASA can now accurately predict when a typhoon will hit and whether it will be catastrophic or not. This information helps us prepare for the worst and keep the damages to a minimum.
Prepare supplies that can last you for 3 to 5 days. Make sure you have ready-to-eat food that does not spoil easily, and at least 3 gallons of drinking water. Check that you also have flashlights, candles, matches, toiletries, extra mobile phone batteries that are fully charged, and a battery-operated radio.
If you have a baby, you should have sterilized water that you can use for feeding and cleaning milk bottles. Keep your important documents in a waterproof container or bag. Make sure that you have a fresh change of clothes, preferably ones that are water-proof and can be worn in wet and cold weather. Add water-proof footwear, umbrella, and anything that can help keep you warm and dry. Medicines and mosquito repellants will also come in handy. Make sure that you also have cash with you, just in case.
2) Typhoon-proof your house.
Check your doors and windows. Use deadbolts as additional locking mechanism so that they don’t end up flying open in the middle of the storm. Board up glass windows which can shatter because of strong winds or flying debris. Secure the roof if it’s made of light material. Nail down shingles in place. Also, if there are trees near your house, prune and remove branches that can potentially damage properties. If your home has insurance, though, that’s one less thing to worry about.
3) Secure your pets in a safe location.
Keep your pets inside where they can be warm and dry. Don’t forget to keep an emergency pet stash nearby, like food and water, sanitation items, and a crate to keep them secure. Also keep a collar on your pet dog or cat. You never know when they’ll bolt out of fright. If they run away, they can easily be returned to you.
4) Put appliances on higher ground.
Remove them away from windows and doors. If your house has a second floor, bring big and heavy appliances upstairs where they will not be damaged by water, especially if you live in a flood-prone area. Make sure that heavy pieces of furniture that you don’t want to get damaged are also in an area away from storm winds and waters.
5) Secure your vehicles.
This applies to your car, motorcycle, bike, and even fishing boat. Find a safe parking spot away from the brunt of the storm. Avoid parking underneath a tree, a lamppost, or a fence. If you live in a place where flood waters can rise at an alarming level, take your car to an elevated garage, or even to a multi-level parking lot. Just be sure that you can get back home safely before the storm hits.
6) Tune in to news reports.
Be updated with the latest about the typhoon by listening to real-time updates on TV and on the radio. You can also follow news and weather agencies on social media. Take note of emergency numbers for PAGASA, NDRRMC, MMDA, DPWH, Philippine Coast Guard, Phivolcs, or the Red Cross. Also find out about evacuation plans of your town or city.
7) Do not wade through floodwaters.
Even if you’ve already killed the main power switch, there can still be live wires and damaged electrical cables immersed in flood water that can electrocute you. When there’s flooding, you can also get infected by waterborne and vector-borne diseases. If you have an open wound, stay away from floodwaters because you are at risk of contracting leptospirosis. If you or your family member gets afflicted by disease, better be safe and take them straight to the hospital. It won’t come cheap, but handling it right away will eventually be more beneficial. Getting a health insurance early on will also be a big advantage when facing these situations.
8) If you live in a flood-prone area, seek higher and safer ground.
Don’t wait until the last minute. When city officials ask you to leave and evacuate, do as you’re told and be on the safe side. Evacuate while you still can, especially if you live in landslide-prone areas, or near the beach, or by the river. These areas are more prone to experience storm surges and rising flood waters. Do not panic, but still come up with a plan to meet in a certain and safe location in case you get separated from your loved ones.
9) Stay inside the house.
When the storm starts to rage outside, the safest place you can be is inside your home. Don’t panic, especially if you have prepared for the storm and your house can withstand it. Never let your children out of your sight, and don’t let them play in flood waters, or take a bath in the rain. If you can avoid driving or traveling to work, do so. Unless of course it’s much safer to be in your office building than in your own house.
10) Stock up on things that will keep you occupied.
It can be a long day or night ahead. To help you get your mind off the storm, keep yourself entertained with stuff that you enjoy and don’t need to be plugged in to electricity. Bring out those books, board games, coloring books, and journals. Play card games. Play the guitar and sing songs with the family. Share jokes and stories and use this time to bond with one another.
Remember this very important tip: do not panic. Try your best to be relaxed, productive, and creative while waiting for the storm to pass. Storms can be pretty scary, but if you’ve prepared enough and prayed enough, it doesn’t have to be a scary and stressful experience.
Once the storm has passed, check for any damages to your property and prioritize those that need to be repaired immediately. If you’re having financial difficulties at the moment, without the money for repairs, you always have the option to apply for low interest cash loan in Philippines and see to it that your family is staying in a safe and secure environment.