Living in the Philippines, there’s something awfully familiar about the imagery of typhoons ravaging through parts of the country. The intensity varies between locations, and whether you have just moved into a flood-prone area or your home has been hit by one too many floods in the past, it pays to be prepared for any dilemma that you might inevitably face.
But what exactly causes areas to be more vulnerable than others? For some, it is because of the drainage system being too inadequate to prevent flooding. For others, it is because of the surface of the land itself being too dry. The circumstances of high-risk areas are also partly due to the lack of development around the location, and not everyone has the luxury of moving to safer places.
If you are living in a vulnerable location, consider that prevention is only half the battle. The other half is adapting to nature’s instability. Financially, you should consider investing in a decent life insurance that is dedicated to easing the hardships one can encounter during natural disasters. You should also get home insurance in the Philippines in case of any damages to your home. Everything else requires meticulous planning.
Keep yourself updated on the local news. You can check weather predictions for the next two weeks online, or you can follow news about typhoons entering your country’s area of responsibility. To brace yourself for worse situations, prepare an emergency bag containing a medical kit, batteries, flashlights, personal medicine, extra clothes, a low maintenance emergency phone, and other items you deem as necessities.
Flooding can happen anytime, so consider the ground level and your garage as the immediate danger zones you need to address.
- Check for leaks and holes where water can easily seep through. Seal them shut with waterstop cement. As for the front and/or back door, place some sandbags. This will help suck up the moisture and save you from minimal flooding.
- It’s absolutely vital that you keep the first floor clean and free from any excess trash. The same goes for electronics. Bring everything up and don’t bring them down until the flooding has ceased.
- Ready the ice boxes in case you need to transfer perishables from fridge due to power outages or other relevant situations.
- If you have a vehicle, decide whether it is better to transport your car to another area or to have it close in case of a late evacuation. Larger cars can withstand tire-level floods, but a vehicle stalled from water/flood damage is considered deadweight even after the flooding subsides.
- If you have pets, ensure that they do not end up staying at flooded surfaces for too long.
Keep in mind that this is for low-level flooding. The heavier the downpour, the more you are encouraged to take drastic measures before the dilemma worsens. One-floor homes do not have the same advantages as bigger houses, so consider other options if you do not have the luxury of extra storage space or house height.
Flash flooding, on the other hand, can catch anyone off-guard, especially if the reported weather was either inaccurate or underestimated. This is a nightmare for affected homeowners, as it can turn a mundane situation into a fiasco overnight. In a minor flash flood, prepare to evacuate if you can still traverse through it. Stay cautious when treading through dangerous streams. Remember that flooding can contain health hazards like water-borne diseases and charged power lines. There is nothing worse than getting sick or downed during a natural disaster.
In a major flash flood, however, escaping the area may not be an option. You might be forced to camp it out on higher ground such as the attic or the roof of your home until the flood level drops or when external aid arrives.
Once the typhoon subsists and the floods are gone, prepare yourself for the aftermath. If you are coming back home from evacuation, expect dismal traffic situations and broken roads on the way. Once you are back home, contact your insurance company to help with the finances, call repair services for anything you need fixing, and take a deep breath because cleaning up the mess will take a while.
Typhoons and floods have terrorized the lives worldwide, causing forthcoming despair and leaving destruction in its wake. Little can be done to alleviate the situation of any unprepared household. If you already know that your location is prone to flooding, then there is no excuse to be ill-prepared. Nature can be cruel, but if you know how to take the heat, then you can walk out of such predicaments with your head up high.