Disaster Preparedness Tips
Disasters can happen anytime and anywhere. When disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond. In a large-scale disaster, local officials and relief workers will not be able to reach everyone immediately. Help could come in hours, or it may take days. Will your family be ready?
This blog is adapted from:
FLOODING DURING TYPHOONS
Flooding – Flooding caused by heavy rains is dangerous and can occur without warning (Flash floods). Floods are particularly dangerous because they can wash away vehicles and homes and cause extensive damage to human lives and property. Individuals who can’t swim, the elderly and those in need of special assistance are particularly vulnerable to drowning. Also, a serious threat during a flood are downed power lines. Those could fall into pools of water and cause electrocutions in homes and on public streets.
Before a flood:
- Check sewer traps (drains) to prevent floodwater from backing up into your home. Clear them of any blockages.
- Keep an adequate supply of food, candles and drinking water in case you are trapped inside your home.
- Charge cellphone* sufficiently, or save on cellphone* charge.
- Construct barriers (levees, beams, sandbags, floodwalls) to stop floodwater from entering the building.
- (LONG-TERM) Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage.
- Have floaters (floating material, rafts, surfboards, etc.) on standby (see and read this experience: http://fathersforgood.typepad.com/fathersforgood/)
During a flood:
- Seek higher ground. Do not wait for instructions.
- Be aware of flash flood areas such as canals, creeks, streams, drainage channels.
- Be ready to evacuate. If time allows bring outside furniture indoors. Move essential items to upper floors.
- If instructed, turn off main valves and switches. Avoid electrical equipment if you are wet, because electric current from lightening can travel through wires and pipes (also because water is an electricity conductor).
- If you must leave your home, do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. Use a stick to test depth.
- Do not try to drive over a flooded road. If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and seek an alternate route.
- If possible: Grab a radio, so you can follow up-to-the-minute news and tips on how to save your life!
After a flood:
- Avoid floodwaters. Do not let children play in the water (although this was clearly violated here: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=149112991043)
- Be aware of areas where water has receded. Roadways may have weakened and could collapse.
- Avoid down power lines and muddy waters where power lines may have fallen.
- Return home only when authorities ―i.e., prudent judgment and informed discretion― say it is safe to do so.
- Discard food that may have been contaminated.
- Check on sewage systems. If damaged, these can be a serious hazard.
*Cellphones: There are a few things that can be done in times of grave emergencies. Your mobile phone can actually be a life saver or an emergency tool for survival. Check out the things that you can do with it (I’m unable to verify/confirm the Emergency no. earlier posted; must be an international route. If anyone can find useful info on emergency actions/numbers, please tell me. TY.) –> The only sure-fire emergency solution I can suggest right now is: PRAY! 🙂 )
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*YEY! IT WORKED! PRAYER WORKED!
(Early Sat. morning: Parma changed course [eastward] & slowed. Thank God!)
🙂 🙂 🙂
RED CROSS text-hotline:
Text SOS to 5656 (P1 only) and get typhoon advisory texts (ALWAYS FREE to receive). Also in case of emergencies, text SOS <message> to 5656 (P1 only), and we will get back to you right away. Thus, please save 5656 on your phones (Smart for now, Globe and Sun to follow).
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- Clean up safely after floods: To prevent illness, disinfect and dry buildings and items in them. This will prevent growth of some bacteria, viruses, mold, and mildew that can cause illness.
- Infectious disease: Short bouts of diarrhea and upset stomach and colds or other breathing diseases sometimes occur, after a natural disaster, particularly among large groups of people in a shelter. Basic hygiene measures like frequent hand washing or use of an alcohol hand gel, especially after using the restroom or changing diapers and before eating, can help prevent these diseases.
- Keep food and drinking water safe: Water may not be safe to drink, clean with, or bathe in after an emergency, such as a hurricane or flood. During and after a disaster, water can become contaminated with microorganisms (for example, bacteria), sewage, agricultural or industrial waste, chemicals, and other substances that can cause illness or death.
- Listen to and follow public announcements. Local authorities will tell you if water is safe to drink or to use for cooking or bathing. Follow local instructions to use bottled water or to boil or disinfect water for cooking, cleaning, or bathing.
- Prevent illness from sewage: If there is severe flooding along with a typhoon, the waters may contain fecal material from overflowing sewage systems and agricultural and industrial waste. Although skin contact with floodwater does not, by itself, pose a serious health risk, there is risk of disease from eating or drinking anything contaminated with floodwater.
- If there has been a backflow of sewage into your house, wear rubber boots and waterproof gloves during cleanup. Remove and discard contaminated household materials that cannot be disinfected, such as wall coverings, cloth, rugs, and drywall.
- Wash clothes contaminated with flood or sewage water in hot water and detergent and separately from uncontaminated clothes and linens.
KEEP SMILING, KEEP SHINING!
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From the UP Diliman Chancellor’s office:
– Prepare flashlights, spare batteries, candles and matches, in case there will be power interruptions.
– Stock sufficient canned foods and other non-perishable food items.
– Have a first aid kit ready.
– Ensure that your homes and other belongings are secured.
– Keep handy important contact numbers in case of emergencies.
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The “Oratio Imperata for Deliverance From Calamities”:
“Almighty Father, we raise our hearts to You in gratitude for the wonders of creation of which we are part, for Your providence in sustaining us in our needs, and for Your wisdom that guides the course of the universe.
“We acknowledge our sins against You and the rest of creation.
“We have not been good stewards of Nature.
“We have confused Your command to subdue the earth.
“The environment is made to suffer our wrongdoing, and now we reap the harvest of our abuse and indifference.
“Global warming is upon us. Typhoons, floods, volcanic eruption, and other natural calamities occur in increasing number and intensity.
“We turn to You, our loving Father, and beg forgiveness for our sins.
“We ask that we, our loved ones and our hard earned possessions be spared from the threat of calamities, natural and man-made.
“We beseech You to inspire us all to grow into responsible stewards of Your creation, and generous neighbors to those in need.
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