What To Do During Storms and Floods in the Philippines
Intense Rain and Flooding
Our country experienced again an intense flooding these past few days (August 7-8, 2012), and perhaps this had been the worst yet. And the weirdest things was, the rain and flooding wasn't really caused by a storm. It was just due to some monsoon rain. Actually, it wasn't just "some". it was a bunch!
The amount of rain surpassed that of the rain brought about by the Typhoon Ondoy in September 26, 2009.
Anyway, I'm writing this article so that if another similar disaster happen, we will be much ready! Hence, you'll find here compilations of important things to know and to do before, during and after storms and floods.
The first thing I will share is all about the newly implemented color-coded warning signals of PAGASA. This will be able to briefly describe how bad the situation is and what should our response be.
PAGASA's Color-Coded Warning Signal and Response
- YELLOW WARNING - 7.5-15mm rains or Heavy rains observed in one hour and is expected to continue in the next two hours. Flooding is possible. The response is “Monitor the weather condition.”
- ORANGE WARNING - 15-30mm rains or Intense rains observed in one hour and is expected to continue in the next two hours. Flooding is threatening. The response is “Alert for possible evacuation.”
- RED WARNING - More than 30 mm of rains observed in one hour and expected to continue in the next two hours. Serious flooding is expected in low-lying areas. The response is “Evacuation.” PAGASA explained that the colors in the new warning code are “associated with awareness, preparedness and emergency."
What Should I Do When I'm Outdoor?
Below are the things I suggest you do when you're outside when all these things happen. Also, kindly check out the photo on the right for more informative facts.
- You should seek shelter as soon as possible. And find a dry place to stay. Or search for the nearest evacuation center.
- Contact your family and/or relatives to inform them of your situation.
- Don't try to battle out floods especially if they are heavily flowing. Hold on to something stable.
- If you are in need of help, hang-on and try wait for the rescuers. (If you happen to have a white cloth or white shirt with you may tie it up on something and wave it to signal rescuers that you need help).
- You really need to be extra careful when the city is flooded. Be extra vigilant and watch out for any open manholes, electric wires and etc. Also, report them to the authorities as soon as possible.
- Be knowledgeable of the hazards on flooded city streets (information is found below).
Hazards on Flooded City Streets
Okay, here are some facts that you should know regarding the hazards on flooded city streets. There are three main sources of hazards here: (1) in the air, (2) on the waters and (3) in the waters. Take a look at this helpful and informative illustration:
This only means that as much as possible, we should avoid going out into the flooded areas. Meaning, we should stay inside our homes if possible. Here are some exceptions:
- The flood already is inside the house. (If this happens, you should evacuate as soon as possible).
- You want to help out in the relief operations or rescue operations. (On a personal note: I really salute those people who risk their life just to provide help and aid to others. And if you are one of them, I want to thank you so much!)
Numbers to Reach
Important Twitter Accounts
NAIA Terminal Hotlines
NAIA Terminal 1 - 871-0804 or 871-9712
NAIA Terminal 2 - 782-7918 or 782-7921
NAIA Terminal 3 - 425-2297 or 877-7888
NAIA Terminal 4 (Manila Domestic Airport) - 425-2293
Sometimes, we are left with one option. And that is, to call for help or rescue. So, it is very important that we know how to reach the authorities.
- National Disaster and Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) hotlines: (02) 911-1406, (02) 912-2665, (02) 912-5668
- Philippine National Police (PNP) Hotline Patrol: 117 or send TXT PNP to 2920
- Bureau of Fire Protection (NCR): (02) 729-5166, (02) 410-6254, (02) 431-8859, (02) 407-1230
- Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) hotline: 7890 or 0918-8848484
- Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Metrobase hotline: 136
- MMDA Flood Control: 882-4177, 882-0925
- Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH): (02) 304-3713
- Red Cross hotline: 143, (02) 911-1876
- North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) hotlines: (02) 3-5000 and (02) 580-8910
- Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) hotlines: (0920) 96-SCTEX (72839)
- Skyway System Hotline: (02) 776-7777, 0915-6256231, 0939-5006910
- South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) hotline: 0908-8807539
- Philippine Coast Guard: (02) 527-3877, (02) 527-8481, 0917-724-3682, 0917-PCG-DOTC
- DOH: 711-1001
- Meralco: Call Center: 16211 SMS Messaging: 0920-9716211(SMART)/0917-5516211(GLOBE)
- Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Hotline: (02) 433-8526
Do you have these on hand?
Checklist: Must Haves
Okay, I want to share with you some important items you should have during disasters. But, I want to emphasize that these should have been ideally prepared long before the disasters.
We often times would not know when disasters would occur. So, it is always best to keep them handy.
Also, if you'll enlarge the photo, you will see that it is also encouraged that we prepare these items for donations and relief operations. Hence, we should be prepared to help out others.
Other Than All These
Other than all these, remember to always keep safe and try to help out as much as possible (especially if you are much or not directly affected by the flooding).
It is during times like this that we need to show how united we are! If you have some helpful tips, I encourage you to share them below.