The Philippines is located along the typhoon belt in the Pacific. On the average, 20 typhoons visit the Philippines every year. These usually take place during rainy days between the months of June to October. It can result to major floods, landslides, standstill traffics, as well as, disruptions in power, water, and communication services (landlines, mobile network and internet services). These does not only happen during typhoons but also during heavy rains like the monsoon rain that we have experienced last August which swamped several provinces including Manila, the Philippines capital.
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Severe weather can happen anywhere at any time and it is inevitable. But there are several measures that we can do to stay safe when severe weather threatens. This article will provide you some tips that you can do to protect yourself and your family when severe weather strikes.
Before Severe Weather Strikes
1. Store enough foods and drinking water. Floods can prevent you from going to the store or market. It may also cut water services plus the fact that it is unsafe to drink water from deep wells or water pipelines submerged into floods.
2. Prepare an emergency kit. This should include first aid kits, necessary medicines for illnesses like fever and flu, candles and matches, flashlights and batteries and battery-powered radio.
3. Charge your mobile phones and emergency lamps. Severe weather sometimes result into power interruption that it is why it is important to keep your mobile phones fully charged. Store emergency contact numbers like the police station hotlines in case you need to notify them for rescue.
4. Monitor weather condition, especially if you are located in the affected area. Tune in to the radio or television or visit weather forecaster sites for updates. PAG-ASA, the local weather forecaster, also sends weather updates through twitter so it would be helpful if you follow them if you have one.
5. In your workplace, review evacuation routes and extraction points in case evacuation is necessary.
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During Severe Weather
1. Stay indoors. It if is unnecessary, avoid going out unless evacuation is required. You might be trapped on floods or injured by falling or flying debris. If you are outside, locate the nearest and safest shelter.
2. Watch out for live wires, cut cables, and fell down electrical post. Never attempt to touch wires or go near these areas to avoid electrocution.
3. If flooding occurs at home, immediately turn off the main electrical switch to avoid fire and/or electrocution. Make sure that your hands are not wet and you are not standing on a damp area when doing so.
After Severe Weather
1. If injured, seek necessary medical care.
2. Stay out of damaged buildings.
3. Report damaged utility lines, like electrical posts, to the appropriate authority.
4. Examine buildings/houses for damages. Use battery-powered lanterns or flashlights to examine damages on walls, foundations, staircases, doors and windows. Ensure that the building/house is not in danger of collapsing and free from objects that might fall.
5. Look for hazards and beware of possible water, gas, oil and chemical leak.
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Share this guidelines to your families and friends to be safe in case a severe weather strikes. Remember: Preparation and information is our only key to be safe on this kind of calamity.