Typhoons are a normal occurrence here in the Philippines. It’s not unusual for at least 20 storms to hit the country in a given year. Some bring nothing but heavy rains and floods; others wreak havoc with floods, gale-force winds, and storm surges, bringing property damage and loss of lives to big metropolises, mountain barangays, and coastal communities.
Typhoons hitting the Philippines are something Filipinos have come to expect. The question is, are they something we are really prepared for?
We can’t stop typhoons, but we can mitigate the effect they might have on our lives by properly preparing for when they come.
Here’s an infographic of the things that you need to do before, during, and after a typhoon. Keep yourself informed and prepared because, after all, it is always better to be ready than to be sorry.
Safety precautions before the typhoon:
- Keep yourself updated with the latest news about the typhoon (its strength, location, etc.) through trusted channels like television, radio, media sites, and even mobile alerts from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
- Another source of news about the typhoon can be social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Before believing and sharing though, make sure it’s legitimate by checking the channels we mentioned above.
- Prepare a list of emergency contact numbers such as the hospital near you, nearest police post, your local government or your barangay etc. We’ve prepared a list of numbers you should consider adding to your emergency contacts below.
- Inspect your home and make sure it’s capable of keeping you and your loved ones warm, dry and safe during the typhoon.
- Inspect the drainage system. Check for clogging and, if you find some, have it fixed at once.
- Make sure that there are no holes in the roofs and ceilings. Fix them at once.
- Check your doors and windows. Make sure they are sturdy.
- Have enough food supplies to see you through the storm. You don’t want to have to leave your home and brave the storm to buy or order food. Have some canned goods and ready to eat meals around. This is especially important in case you lose power during the typhoon and can cook.
- Store some potable drinking water. Rule of thumb: A gallon of water will meet the drinking and sanitation needs of one person for three days.
- If there is a chance of flooding in your area, move your valuables, furniture, and electric-appliances to the higher levels of your home.
- Charge your gadgets. If you have power banks, make sure they are at full capacity as well.
- Have an emergency kit with first aid supplies, flashlights and extra batteries, candles and matches or a lighter, and maintenance and emergency medicines. Keep some money and copies of important documents in plastic or waterproof pouches in your kit.
- Secure your pets and any other domesticated animals in a safe place.
- If your local government instructs you to evacuate, do so. They are the ones who are more knowledgeable of your safety than yourself. It is always better to be safe than to be sorry in the end.
- Make an emergency plan if the situation in your area gets worse. Talk within your family members beforehand and have a safe place or a landmark picked out where everyone can go in case there is a need to evacuate.
Safety precautions during the typhoon:
- As much as possible, cancel all scheduled travels. It’s better to stay inside the house with your family during these times.
- Avoid overusing your gadgets to save the battery for emergency purposes.
- Keep in contact with your loved ones who are still not at home.
- If there are signs of water rising, disconnect the appliances inside your house. It is even better to switch-off your main source of electricity. Refrain from using electric-powered items during a flood.
- Keep an eye on things that can cause fire such as candles, gas lamps, etc.
- Avoid going to flooded areas and as much as possible. Wear protective gear such as boots and raincoats to protect yourself from contacting water-borne diseases.
- Comply with the announcements and advisories given by your local government. Always be ready to move if you have to.
Safety precautions after the typhoon:
- Continue monitoring the typhoons progress.
- Have your house inspected for any signs of damage and perform the needed repairs immediately.
- If your house was destroyed, see to it that it is safe for you to enter before attempting to do so.
- Keep an eye on and beware of dangerous animals such as snakes or any debris that might be inside your house.
- Check for live wires or outlets that may have been submerged in the water and report at once to the authorities.
- Double check your appliances especially those that are immersed in the water to avoid accidents. Do not turn on your electrical switches unless it is safe for you to do so.
- Dispose of any accumulated water in pots, tires, cans etc. to avoid creating breeding grounds for mosquitos.
- Wear protective gear to prevent yourself from acquiring waterborne diseases such as leptospirosis.
- Boil water for at least 20 minutes before drinking it for it may be contaminated.
Be smart and stay alert. Keep in mind that preparedness is the key.
Emergency contact numbers
NATIONAL EMERGENCY HOTLINE
NATIONAL DISASTER AND RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT COUNCIL (NDRRMC) HOTLINES
911-5061 to 65
PHILIPPINE RED CROSS TRUNKLINE
(+63 2) 790-2300
(02) 527-8385 to 95
BUREAU OF FIRE PROTECTION (NCR)
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE (PNP) HOTLINE PATROL
PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD TRUNKLINE
(02) 527-8481 to 89
METRO MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (MMDA)
(02) 426-1468 to 79, local 124/125
(02) 882-4150-77 loc. 337, 319, 374, 320
PHILIPPINE ATMOSPHERIC, GEOPHYSICAL AND ASTRONOMICAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (PAGASA) HOTLINE
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS (DPWH)
MANILA WATER HOTLINE
MAYNILAD WATER SERVICES
MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY (MERALCO)