All these talks about a possible typhoon or cyclone hitting Gensan is giving me the jitters. I have yet to hear such warnings straight from our local officials. Is Gensan ready for this? I really hope so. In my lifetime, I haven’t experienced the kind of typhoons that wrecked havoc in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan. I’ve experienced Bagyong Nitang in the 1990s when I was still in Cebu — for one week, we were without running water but at least we had electric power. We were caught off-guard back then because we didn’t heed the call to be prepared prior to the typhoon. Let us therefore make the necessary safety precautions. Here are some that I’ve gathered from the internet:
- Store enough food and drinking water that would last for a few days. The typhoons may bring in torrential rains and destructive winds that may ruin infrastructure. Supermarkets and groceries might not be able to resume operations after a typhoon, so make sure your supplies would last until the situation goes back to normal.
- Have a medical kit ready. Ensure that the necessary medicines are in place. Store enough items for your family. If need be, teach all members of the family basic first aid handling.
- Don’t leave your pets at home if you have to evacuate. Do not leave them behind because they might escape, get trapped, and be exposed to various life-threatening hazards.
- Make sure your home is sturdy enough to endure potential gusty winds and flash floods. Check possible weak points in the house and have them repaired immediately. If you’re unsure of your house’s stability, just leave and go to designated safe evacuation or safety centers.
- During the typhoon, put off the electricity within the house to prevent any electrical accidents. Chances are, the local utility firm will voluntarily cut off the electric supply so be ready for your provisions like flashlights, candles, matches and batteries.
- Typhoons bring in rains and winds so make sure you have jackets and umbrellas, in case you may need to flee. Opt for the kind of clothing that wouldn’t become too heavy to wear when wet. Sturdy umbrellas are a must.
- If your home is safe enough, just stay indoors before and during the typhoon to ensure safety. During typhoons, electric wires might fall down to the streets and compromise safety. Same goes for falling or flying debris, which are the usual cause of injuries and casualties.
- Always monitor news updates regarding the typhoon. Get transistor radios that run on batteries to make sure there would be no news blackout in case the electric and communication facilities shut down.
- Fill your cars with gasoline. Pump up and check your car batteries. Ensure that your tires are okay and the spares are in good working order. Make sure that the windows are closed and the car is properly parked in a garage. The handbreak should be pulled up too.
Typhoons are weather phenomenons and no one can prevent it from happening. Let us not become one of the casualties. Life is too precious and it is not worth losing it to some occasional weather occurrence like typhoons. Be safe, everyone.