Lifesaver: How to prepare for and survive a cyclone

Robie de Guzman

The Philippines gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones each year.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the peak of the typhoon season is July through October, when nearly 70 percent of all typhoons develop.

As a country prone to cyclones and other natural calamities, preparing for a disaster can start before there is an immediate threat.

Cyclone formation can be identified by meteorologists well in advance as they take shape over oceans before tracking towards coastlines. This gives ample time for the public to prepare for an incoming storm.

So, how can you prepare for a cyclone?

UNTV’s Lifesaver program has prepared this what-to-do list to help you get ready before, during and after a storm.

If you live in a disaster-prone area, check with your local authorities if your property is located in an area vulnerable to flooding, storm surge and landslide so you would know how to proceed.

BEFORE a cyclone hits, you should:

Secure your home and other properties.

  • Tie down roofs with cables.
  • Repair loose roofing sheets and make sure these are firmly fastened in place
  • Cover beds and other items with plastic to protect it from water seeping in around windows and doors.
  • Secure debris or loose items such as potted plants, tools, garbage cans and other materials that could become airborne during strong winds.
  • Place valuable items and appliances on higher level to protect them from flooding.
  • Trim branches or tie down trees near your home that may topple during high winds.
  • Arrange flashlights, candles and lanterns in places where adults can easily find these items.
  • Prepare several gallons of drinking water on hand.

Prepare your family’s survival essentials.

  • Fully charge your mobile phones and other communication devices.
  • Store copies of legal documents such as passport, license, birth and marriage certificates and identification cards in a waterproof container.
  • Keep a stash of extra cash in a waterproof pouch.
  • Prepare your family’s Go Bag that you can grab when you have to evacuate.
  • Fill your vehicle’s tank with gas, and move it away from trees or structures that may collapse during the storm.

Prepare a disaster evacuation plan.

  • Meet your family members to discuss your evacuation plan.
  • Check your locality’s flood warning system and evacuation plan.
  • Be ready to leave your home and head to a temporary shelter when advised by authorities.
  • Keep yourself updated with the latest weather report.

DURING a cyclone, you should:

  • Keep calm but vigilant.
  • Watch television or listen to radio to get latest weather advisories.
  • Stay inside your home and away from windows, especially those that are made of glass.
  • Remain inside even when the eye of the storm is passing and all appears to be calm as heavy winds will soon follow.
  • Unplug all appliances and turn off the main power switch to avoid power spikes.
  • Shut off gas valve.
  • Use flashlights and lanterns when power outage occurs.
  • If living in low-lying area, consider seeking shelter elsewhere. Follow government advisories when there is a need to move to a safer place.

AFTER a storm, you should:

  • Wait for authorities advise on whether it is safe to return to your home.
  • Make sure that your house is safe and stable before you go in. carefully check your house for loose power lines, foundation cracks or other damage.
  • Watch out for live wires or outlet immersed in water.
  • Check the ceiling or walls for signs of sagging that may be dangerous if it falls.
  • Report damaged or fallen electrical posts to authorities.
  • Remove health hazards left behind by floodwater mud.
  • Remove water that accumulated in tires, cans or pots to avoid it from becoming a breeding spot for mosquitoes.

Watch more episodes of Lifesaver below for more information on preparing for a cyclone.

The post Lifesaver: How to prepare for and survive a cyclone appeared first on UNTV News.