Typhoon Bopha/Pablo: How to Prepare for a Storm in the Philippines

Image from PAGASA

Typhoon Bopha (Pablo) is now entering the Philippine Area of Responsibility with maximum sustained winds of 165 kilometers per hour which could reach 231 kilometers per hour (kph). It is the 16th storm to hit the Philippines this year, and is expected to bring heavy rainfall.

Bopha (Pablo) is much stronger than Washi (Sendong) which caused massive devastation in Mindanao, particularly in Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro City, with a death toll of almost 1,500 from flash floods that swept away thousands of homes last December 2011. Bopha could become a super typhoon and may be more destructive than Sendong. It is moving in a west-northwest direction and appears to follow Sendong’s path last year unless it changes direction.

As typhoon Bopha (Pablo) takes aim at Caraga Region and other provinces along Northern Mindanao, and Visayas, residents living in the storm’s projected path should prepare for possible storm surge, flooding and landslides.

Here’s a guideline to help you prepare for a storm:

I. What to Do Before the Storm

A. Make a Family Emergency Plan

– Involve every family member even your kids.

1. Determine whether you live in a flood prone area.

2. Know the nearest evacuation area and how to get there in case you’ll be ordered to evacuate. Identify alternate routes from school, work and office.

3. Learn about your community’s warning signals and what you should do when they are issued.

4. Find out about the disaster plans at your workplace, your children’s school, and other places where any of you spends time.

5. Determine the best escape routes from your home at least two ways out of each room.

6. Establish safe spots in your home.

7. Determine hazard areas in your home.

8. Post emergency telephone numbers in an area easily seen.

9. Determine what to include in your emergency supplies.

10. Establish an emergency contact person. This should be someone who is unlikely to be hit by the storm.

11. Establish meeting places with your family members in the event that you’ll be separated.

11. Practice your emergency plan with the rest of the family.

B. Gather Emergency Supplies

image from www.getprepared.gc.ca

– This is a collection of basic items needed in the event of a disaster wherein you might not have access to food, water and electricity.

– Create kits for use at home, office, school, and in a car.

– Don’t forget to prepare supplies for your pets too.

– Pack items in easy-to-carry water-resistant containers/bags.

– Label containers clearly.

– Store emergency supplies in easily accessible areas

– Check the kit regularly.

– Make sure the flashlight and batteries work.

– Check expiration dates every 6 months and replace when necessary.

1. Safe drinking water

– Store at least 1 gallon/person/day. Keep enough water that will last at least 3 days. For pets, allow 1 quart/day/pet or 1 gallon/day/pet.

– Use unbreakable containers and replace supply every 6 months.

2. Food

– Nonperishable (canned/dried), easy to prepare, has long shelf lives, and doesn’t need to be cooked or refrigerated. Keep enough food that will last at least 3 days per person. Examples are canned goods, crackers, dry package beans, nuts, peanut butter, hard candy, and dried fruit.

– Make sure to include a can opener and disposable plates and utensils.

3. Emergency lighting

– Flashlights, batteries, candles and matches

– Stock up on long-lasting batteries like Eveready.

4. Battery-powered radio

5. First aid kit:

1 Adhesive Strips (Pk50)
1 Hypo – Allergenic medical tape 1.25cm x 9.1m
1 Conforming Bandage 5cm
1 Triangular Bandage 110cm x 110cm
1 Wound Dressing No. 15
2 Swabs Antiseptic
1 Tweezers metal 8cm
1 Scissors disposable
1 Safety pins – assorted (pk12)
1 Plastic Bags – resealable – 100 X 180 mm
1 Plastic Bags – resealable – 150 x 230 mm
2 Gloves – disposable
1 First Aid Quick Reference Guide

6. Medications – at least 7 days supply of prescription and non prescription meds.

7. Baby supplies – bottles, formula, baby food, and diapers

8. Pet supplies – sturdy leashes, harnesses, collar, and food

9. Extra set of keys

10. Family and emergency contact numbers

BFP, PNP, BJMP – dial 117

Butuan City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) – dial 225-0014 (PLDT/Cruztelco) or 342-3802 (Bayantel)

CDRRMO Mobile Hotline: 0946-236-9628

11. Toiletries

– Antibacterial soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, napkin, undergarments, hand towels, comb

12. Extra Cash

13. Multipurpose tool and/or knife

14. Toiletries

15. Important family information – list of medical conditions or medical devices like pacemakers, and other special concerns

16. Photocopies of identification for each family member including health card

17. Map

18. Whistle

19. Glow sticks

20. Rope – avoid nylon

21. Blanket/Sleeping Bag – 1 per person

C. Set Refrigerator and Freezer to Coldest Settings and Store Extra Ice

– This will help food to last longer when there’s power outage.

D. Fully Charge All Electronics (Mobile phone, laptop)

– Have extra batteries on hand too.

E. Tune-up Your Car and Fill-Up Its Gas Tank

Make sure it’s ready to go in case of an emergency travel. Have jumper cables and flares in your car.

F. Have Extra Cash – ATMs and credit cards will be out of service without electricity

G. Secure Important Documents

– Keep these in water-resistant envelopes.

1. List of important information

– Medical needs and other medical information, and inventory of personal property.

2. Legal Documents

– Passports, birth certificates, marriage certificate, land titles, insurance records, house deed/lease, latest income tax return, and vehicle titles.

3. Other important documents

– Medical records, academic records, and vaccination records.

H. Secure Your Property

– Move furniture and beds away from windows and doors.

– Anchor securely or bring everything that can be blown away by the wind inside the house.

– Secure all furnishings and gas appliances to the wall.

– Put heavy items at the bottom of the shelf.

– Use latches to prevent cupboard and refrigerator doors from opening.

– Store all flammable liquids outside and away from structures and vehicles.

I. Secure Your Windows and Doors

image from www.cbc.ca/news/

– Install storm shutters.

– Tape or board your windows.

– Install strong braces to your windows and doors.

J. Clean Out Drains and Clogged Rain Gutters 

K. Be Well Informed

Monitor weather reports and stay tuned to local radio stations for advisories and other announcements.

You can also equip your smart phone with useful applications:

1. Weather tracker (free) – Project Noah for Android

2. First aid applications by the Red Cross (free) – Android, iPhone

3. Turn your camera phone into a flashlight (free)

a. Android – Droidlight LED flashlight

b. iPhone – Flashlight for iPhone

II. What to Do During the Storm

1. Remain calm.

2. Stay indoors as much as possible. Go out only when necessary.

3. Stay away from skylights, glass doors and windows.

4. Stay away from dangling wires and downed power lines.

5. Stay away from flooded roads and washed out bridges.

6. Unplug appliances and turn off lights to prevent power surge when electricity will be restored.

7. Keep the doors of the refrigerator closed to preserve food.

8. Turn off main water valve.

9. Shut off gas/propane tanks.

10. Be updated of the current weather condition and weather advisories on TV, radio or online.

11. Use your mobile phone for emergency only to conserve battery life.

12. If you need to brave the flood, wear rubber boots.

13. If you are told to evacuate, leave immediately with your emergency supplies and important documents.

III. What to Do After the Storm

1. Seek medical care.

2. Stay out of disaster areas unless authorities ask for the assistance of volunteers.

3. Stay away from downed power lines and loose wires.

4. Stay away from trees, metal fences and other metal objects near downed lines.

5. If you have been evacuated, return to your home only when authorized.

6. Be cautious when going back to your home.

7. Be keen against spoiled food.

8. Assume that water in your home is not safe to drink.

9. Turn on power in your home only when it’s clear from flooding.

10. Report broken sewer or water mains to the authorities.

11. Use phone only for emergency because telephone lines may still be busy.

12. Take extra precautions in preventing the occurrence of fire.

13. Record and document thoroughly with pictures and/or videos any damage to your home before doing any repairs.

14. Notify insurance representatives of damage to your property.

15. Make repairs to prevent looting and further damage.

Now that you have been educated on how to deal with a storm, what is your next step?

Fellow residents of Butuan City let us brace up for the storm and continue to seek God’s protection and sustenance. Now is not the time to be lax.

If you know someone who can benefit from reading this, please do share it.

Thank you for your time Thrifty Looker! Sayonara and may the Lord keep you safe!

Sarj of Thrifty Look

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Sarj is a nurse, consultant, artist, entrepreneur, web developer, and a wordsmith at ThriftyLook.com and KatrinasClothing.com

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4 Responses

  1. very informative talaga.

  2. itin says:

    What a comprehensive list you got! I’m missing out on a lot of things.

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