The provinces affected by the storm Yolanda has not yet fully recovered. But another howling hurricane battered the same places and destroyed even more, including Metro Manila. And the saddest thing to know is that a lot of Filipinos are not prepared for these natural calamities and a lot are clueless on what to do in the aftermath of these disasters.
For those who are building up their emergency funds, you should know that your contingencies should not only mean “cash” but also other important intangibles and physical preparation. Your emergency funds may not always be enough to make your loved ones feel safer.
In order to prepare you for the worst, here are some realizations and very important steps to take in order to protect your families, keep them safer and prepared before any natural calamity comes.
1. Know what “regular” disasters that come your province or region. We all know that the Eastern part of the Visayas and Luzon are the first and foremost regions that are hit by typhoons. Even if your children and loved ones already know about the risk of living in these areas, you have to remind them about this fact. And all of you should always be prepared for this not only to protect your lives but to save a lot of costs as well. The same thing goes for other provinces that are in the vicinity of volcanoes, flash floods, landslides, etc. Earthquakes are a given in this nation. Always remind everyone (and yourself) to stay calm and not panic.
2. Fortify your house. We live in the Pacific Ring of Fire, just in case you missed out this term from your teachers in elementary and high school. That means we are like sitting in an enormous pot of boiling water and thus we are easily hit by typhoons and earthquakes.
Avoid installing shelves with heavy items and dangerous decorations above your beds that may hit you and your kids in case of earthquakes. Make sure that you have clear doorways to easily go out of your home. Invest in strong and reliable materials to fortify your house’s walls and other walls around your home. Big trees should also be trimmed in case of an announced typhoon.
If you have a car, keep the following inside your vehicle’s trunk: Water (both for drinking and washing), extra clothes, a flashlight, and other emergency tools and items recommended by the Philippine Red Cross. Always keep some cash as well.
3. Prepare your emergency provisions. In case of any and all disasters and emergencies, we should always be ready with provisions. Keep on stocking canned and packed foods, bottled drinking water, water for bathing and washing, and of course, the first aid kits. Your emergency supplies should also include P100 to P1,000 bills in case since it’s a fact that banks and ATM’s are not available during and after calamities.
4. Purchase everything important. Several days before Ondoy devastated Metro Manila in 2009, our daughter was born. We were so worried that our place in Marikina and lower Antipolo will be submerged in water. And they did get drenched in water. A lot of water. Supplies such as her milk and distilled water were hard to find. Make a list of all the necessary items with your family and begin planning your costs. This taught us that we should list all important items and buy the most needed ones for cases like this. Save up!
5. Funny for most, but perform drills at home. Instructions should be clear to all members of the family on what to do in case of a disaster. There should be an assigned meeting point in case members are separated while disaster strikes. Practice this so that everyone will remember what to do if they are alone in these situations. Practice makes perfect, including developing instinctive responses in times of danger.
6. Continue saving up cash for emergencies. No need for further elaboration. You will need this to rebuild your home, to buy a new car, and helping other relatives and friends affected by any disaster. Yes, it may not be enough but cash is always king in situations like this.
7. Get an insurance for you and for your property. Nothing beats this kind of readiness. Whatever happens to you or your home or your car, you are very well protected if you or these properties are insured.
Ondoy, Yolanda, or Glenda or the earthquakes in Bohol and elsewhere in the Philippines will not be the last. Be prepared.
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Rock your way to abundance!
Photo credit: Haiyan, Wikimedia
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