What to do before, during and after the Typhoon: Illustrated Guide
Before the Typhoon lands
Prevention is better than cure. Since calamities are beyond our control, there are few things that we can do to avoid the worst scenario.
Here are the information you need to gather during a weather forecast.
a. Name of typhoon.
b. Signal or category of typhoon
c. Areas forecasted to be affected
d. Predicted time when the typhoon lands
e. Period of the stay of typhoon
1. Tune in to Weather Forecast
The weather forecast informs the people about the upcoming typhoon. Upon being informed, we can do the preparations necessary if our place is to be affected. Nowadays, weather forecast are available on television, radio, or even on the website of the responsible forecasting institution. In the Philippines, we have PAGASA to give the Filipinos a weather forecast.
During the weather forecast, listen carefully and gather the necessary details below.
a. Name of typhoon
Why is it necessary to know the name? Because sometimes, there will be two or more typhoons within the area of responsibility. You might not be aware that there is another typhoon. You might not even know that the other typhoon will strike your residential area so be attentive always. Rarely, two typhoons hit each other and merge as one typhoon. The experts will give them a new name as it is now a super typhoon
b. Signal or Category
In the Philippines, there are signal number 1,2,3 and 4, being 4 as the strongest category of typhoon. Knowing the category of the typhoon will lead you to do the preparation in a level exceeding the damage it might cause to lives and properties.
c. Affected Areas
You will be aware that your area or the areas where your loved ones are residing, are to be hit by the typhoon. Affected areas have different categories depending on the location and movement of the typhoon.
d. Predicted time when the typhoon will hit the area of responsibility
The time of landing of the typhoon marks the end of preparation beforehand. This will mark as your due date for the tasks that are need to be done.
e. Period of stay
Some typhoons stay longer than one day. By knowing the period, you can store the assessed quantity of basic things that you will be needing during that period.
In your own experience
Which strongest category of typhoon have you experienced?
What happened when two typhoons hit each other?
They might merge and become one super typhoon
2. Spread typhoon awareness
Inform other people who might be living in the affected area. They might not be aware of the weather forecast. Help them by informing them.
3. Fix your house
Preparation is better than cure. If you want your house to stand still and strong you need to maintain it. Fix the leaked roof and ceiling. Fix the weak walls. Restore all necessary parts to make it strong enough and stand still after the typhoon hits. It is not only an investment for the house itself but also for the lives of the people living inside the house.
4. Prepare the Medicine Kit
Buy and prepare the over the counter medicines for fever, diarrhea and cold. Monitor if you also have medicines and bandages for cuts
5. Store staple foods and canned goods
Store foods that are eaten routinely. For us Filipinos, rice is our staple food. Store rice and caned goods. Do not panic buy. Just buy what you can consume within the period of calamities. You can buy extra quantity which you can give to others who might be needing it.
6. Store water
Our body needs at least 8 glasses of water. Store drinking water in a dry and cool place. Don't let it be contaminated with bacteria from flood water because it can cause diarrhea. Store water for sanitation and hygiene purposes.
7. Prepare on hand the flashlight, batteries and lighter
In case of black out, use the flashlight with batteries. Most of the time during a strong typhoon, electricity are down so it is very important to have flashlight or lamp with battery back-up.
8. Make sure there is enough gas
Without gas, you cannot cook. This is very important especially for boiling water.
9. Evacuate if necessary
If your residential area has a signal no. 3 and 4, you should evacuate to places not to be hit by the typhoon. Evacuate if you felt your area is in danger for flood, land erosion or tsunami.
During the typhoon
All aspects of your life- physical, mental, spiritual, psychological and social, are being triggered at this moment. It is very important to be alert within this period.
1. Stay indoors
The typhoon produce a strong wind and it is really unsafe outside. In my own experience, I have seen a lot of flying objects like roof sheets and light metals which might hit you. If it is not that necessary to go outside, please do stay at home.
While staying at home, avoid to be near the window. Windows made of glass might be broken and the debris might cause you injuries like cut and open wounds.
2. Wear boots and raincoat
If flood has entered your house, wear boots. This will protect you from bacteria which are present in the flood water. Remember that you can catch skin diseases like Leptospirosis upon contact of your skin and open wound with flood water.
If you need to save someone and it is deemed necessary to go outside, use a raincoat. Umbrellas are not safe to use outdoor. It will lead you to imbalance because the umbrellas that you are holding can be easily swayed by the strong wind just like a kite in the sky. I experienced it before. I was walking on a path along a creek and I almost fell down into the creek. I was holding my umbrella while it was being carried by the strong wind heading towards the creek.
3. Give first aid
Give first aid to those who are injured with the flying objects or broken window glasses.
4. Stay calm
Amidst the strike of a typhoon, people should stay calm. Do not panic. Calmness can give you more focus and emotional stability to think and decide solutions to problems that might arise due to typhoon.
After the typhoon
The typhoon's aftermath is the most devastating part. Seeing dead human and animal bodies all over the place can be the worst scenario.
1. Go to rescue center
There are rescue centers and evacuation centers that will provide the basic needs to the victims. It is also a good place to see other relatives who survived the typhoon.
2. Help the victims
Google has the Google finder that helps people to reconnects with their relatives. As of the moment, they launched one specifically for Typhoon Haiyan.
3. Go to hospital
Seek medical attention for those who are injured and sick.