Typhoons are not uncommon for a tropical country like the Philippines that experiences it year after year, and the devastation they leave in their wake is no joke. Heavy rain and typhoons can cause severe damage, especially to your properties, so even though you can’t predict where or when they will hit, the best way to minimize possible damage is to be prepared.
Perhaps some people might say that their homes are the center of their lives. Though this may be true, there is no guarantee that the strength of one’s home will be enough to withstand natural calamities like a super typhoon. With that, here are some helpful tips on how you can prepare your home should such an event occur.
- Plan, Plan, Plan
You have to develop a contingency plan before any disaster strikes; after all, better to be safe than sorry. To do this, you can identify a single point of contact or a central gathering spot for your family, prepare a checklist of all the things you’ll be needing, and emergency procedures, as well. Ensure that your plan complies with any local emergency protocols if you must evacuate and includes local emergency contact numbers. And, of course, make sure that your family members are all aware of this information.
- Check Your House For Necessary Repairs
Inspect your house for cracked walls, leaky roofs, or broken doors and windows. If you can fix it yourself, make sure that you patch up all the holes on your walls and roofs and secure all hinges on your windows and doors, too. Otherwise, you can ask for help from a professional.
- Ensure A Safety Stay At Home
Refrain from leaving your house until it’s absolutely necessary. Plan ahead of time for a prolonged stay at home and prepare for extended power outages and water shortages as well. Prepare reinforcement tools such as nails and wooden planks if rain and wind are expected to intensify.
Close the curtains on the windows. If a window is broken, this will help prevent shards of glass from flying into the room. The window frames and other locations where wind and rain can enter may need to be stuffed with rags or other materials.
- Stock Up!
Leaving your home may not be possible for an extended period, so it is essential to stock up on easy-to-cook food items and water adequate for your entire family that could last for at least three days. These include (preferably easy-to-open) canned goods, biscuits, etc., to keep you from getting hungry and a safe drinking water supply to avoid dehydration. Also, make sure to keep your food stock in a dry place.
- Prepare An Emergency Kit
First-aid bags, hygiene kits, medicines and prescriptions (for family members with allergies or special needs), flashlights, Swiss Army knives, extra batteries for your radio and flashlights, rope, portable mobile charging devices (i.e., power banks) should all be included in your emergency supply kit. You can also include your documents sealed in waterproof bags to keep them safe and dry.
- Purchase A Battery-Operated Radio And Enough Batteries
With a battery-powered transistor AM/FM radio, you’ll be able to keep up with the latest weather reports and other information even if you don’t have access to electricity. This is also a handy tool that you can take with you should there be a need to evacuate or transfer locations during a typhoon.
For those living in a flood-prone area, consider moving your appliances and pieces of furniture to the second floor of your home if you have one. Otherwise, ensure they are elevated enough to keep them from being damaged if the flood water enters your home. Prioritize any item that uses electricity.
- Secure Objects That Could Be Blown Away
Reinforce TV antennae and other items as needed. Laundry poles, flower pots, and other things on a porch can be secured with ropes or moved indoors. Be sure to bring in any other items that could fly off into the distance, like trash cans, signs, and signposts.
- Power Off
Switch off the main power switch to prevent electrical accidents. All electrical appliances should be unplugged and cords arranged correctly before shutting down your home’s main power switch.
- Utilize The Power Of Social Media
People’s interactions have changed a lot as a result of technology. It is now possible to use social media to inform others of your current condition or to report others in need so that they can be rescued. People use hashtags to organize rescue efforts and other critical information as an illustration of how social media improves disaster assistance.
During a severe weather event like heavy rain or a typhoon, pay close attention to television and radio broadcasts to acquire the latest water level, wind speed, and other weather-related information possible. Prepare for evacuation if heavy rain or flooding is predicted (official warnings will be announced on TV, radio, and social media platforms). Remember that it is crucial to act early during these times; what better way to do that than by following a well-thought-out plan crafted for when a strong typhoon or a similar natural disaster strikes.