Water is vital to life. However, this same important life-giving substance can cause tremendous damage and even death. In a country wrought by countless of storms each year, the Philippines has become a typhoon capital in Southeast Asia. Although typhoons are part of Filipino lives, constant reminders are required to keep everyone safe from nature’s outrage.
Here are some life-saving tips everyone should know when it comes to storms and typhoons.
Prepare for the onslaught
Storms and typhoons don’t just appear without warning. Thanks to technology we can determine when one is about to decimate our home. Moreover, we have enough warning to make the needed preparations to keep ourselves and family safe during a typhoon or storm.
- Board up the windows: Glass windows are often a cause of injuries. When debris at high velocity strikes windows it can injure people in the house. Whenever possible secure them with boards to avoid damage and injuries.
- Reinforce the walls and roof: I’ve seen roofs flying during storms. Reinforcing the roof takes more than placing heavy objects on top. This includes patching up any holes that can start violent rips and tears.
- Stock up on food and water: During storms, power outages can be expected. So it is prudent to stock up of food that does not require refrigeration. Likewise, opt for foods that do not require cooking or at least minimal cooking and preparation. This includes crackers and biscuits, canned foods. On the other hand, secure clean water for everyone. Ideally, stock up food for at least 3 days.
- Leave the lowlands and seashore: The Visayas area of the Philippines was hit by a very strong typhoon. The storm surge has decimated the provinces and families were lost. When given the order to move away from high-risk areas do so at once.
- Pack safety equipment and emergency supplies: First aid kits and equipment are a must during typhoons and storms. Make sure you have bandages, alcohol, antiseptic, cotton, batteries for flashlights, radio and other necessities you might require.
- Emergency action plan: An emergency action plan is a critical part in preparedness. Every member of the family should know what to do in case of emergency. This includes the location of essentials in the home, possible meeting places when the family gets separated, location of the nearest hospital or emergency services outpost.
- Tie and secure anything that may be blown away by the storm: It is imperative that you secure anything that the storm might carry and turn into a deadly projectile.
When the storm hits, it is important to stay indoors. Apart from staying dry, you get protected from any flying debris. When wind speeds reach high velocities, a projectile can pierce through concrete without much difficulty. You don’t want that happening to you. When you are indoors there are several things you have to keep in mind:
- Stay away from the windows and doors
- Put barriers between you and the storm
- Keep everyone calm
- Listen to the radio for news
- Use battery operated lights and radio
- Do not go out for any reason
Evacuate when needed
Some people find it difficult to evacuate before the storm hits. Perhaps it’ leaving their homes that is hard for them or perhaps it’s just plain stubbornness. However, when instructions to evacuate are given before the storm hits, do so quickly.
- Listen to local news
- Observe rise of water especially if you are located in a flood-prone area
- Follow the instructions of the emergency personnel
After the storm
After the storm, it is prudent to assess everything first before going out at once. Some of the important things to consider include the structural integrity of the house, the level of water if water rose during the typhoon, debris that can be a source of injury and other potentially dangerous situations.
But the most important consideration is checking your family and keeping everyone calm.
Storms and typhoons have claimed countless of lives especially in areas where people are unprepared. Moreover, storms and typhoon safety starts with getting people aware of its dangers and the possible ways to be safe. When the whole family knows what to expect and how to deal with the situation, we can expect more people to remain safe during typhoons.
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