Sep 28, 2009

How to prepare for a flood: Lessons learned from "Ondoy"

After getting a whip of storm Ondoy's wrath, we should be ready from now on for disasters like this that may happen again in the future. Remember that we are still in the monsoon season and that there's a possibility of experiencing another storm in the next few days, as reported early today.

I have listed down a few points that we should do in preparation for such calamity.

1. Pay attention to weather forecasts. There are no perfect forecasts but preparing won't hurt you. If you are living near riverbanks and lakes or have experienced terrible flood before, you are most likely to be affected, so move to safer, higher grounds as quickly as you can.

2. Take note of emergency hotlines. Store these in your cellphones. Get the number of your barangay office. They're the one nearest that should provide help in case of a calamity.

3. Build your flood emergency kit. This should include at least 3-day supplies (food & water,  clothing, & medicines), beddings (sleeping bag/light blankets), first-aid kit, batteries, flashlights, cellphone card, fully-charged cellphone batteries, portable radio, rain gears, and some cash. These should be placed in a water-proof bag or at least seal them in a plastic bag before putting them in an easy-to-carry bag.

4. Put all your important documents/files in an easy-to-handle, water-proof bag as well. Better have some extra copies of these (your documents photocopied and your files saved in external disks) kept in a place other than your home. In this way, you'll have back-up in case the originals get destroyed due to calamities.

5. It's about time to build an exit of your house in case you don't have any yet. There are a lot of houses/apartments in Metro Manila that do not have ladders etc. which are helpful in evacuating people located in 2nd or 3rd floors.

6. Try your best to not panic and plan your strategy in case things get worse. You are better off when you focus on the preparations and the things that you need to do.

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