Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Thins To Do During typhoon
If you know you are in a landslide prone area, you better move to another place to live specially those who live beside the hills.It is better if we are ready for it.dont panic, prepare to evacuate pack important things like food,cloth, go to the evacuation center.

According to the Mortality Risk Index released by the UN International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the Philippines ranks No. 12 among 200 countries and territories whose population are most at risk from natural disasters.

Our country is hit with an average of 20 typhoons annually leaving a trail of deaths, injuries and damaged properties worth billions of pesos. Typhoons that have left their marks were Milenyo, Reming, Lando, Mina and Frank.

Last year, Typhoon Frank destroyed 250,000 hectares of farmland in Central and Southern Luzon, and in South Western and Central Visayas. Thousands of Filipino families have lost their shelter, livelihood and some —their lives.

As the rainy season draws to its peak, evidenced in the declaration of the third week of June (Presidential Proclamation 823) as Typhoon and Flood Awareness Week, it is very important for everybody not to be “caught unprepared.” Start preparing by knowing the hazards and learning what has to be done before a storm comes.

Whenever a tropical cyclone is expected to enter the country’s area of responsibility, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (Pagasa) categorizes the storm according to public storm signals which tells us the time when it is expected to hit, wind velocity and gustiness. Here are categories of storm signals and what to expect:

(1) Public storm Signal 1 has winds of 30 kph to 60 kph and may be expected to hit in at least 36 hours. Very light or no damage at all may be sustained by the exposed area. Classes in preparatory schools are suspended, but business may be carried out as usual.

Pagasa issues a weather bulletin every six hours to update whether a weather disturbance will be elevated to a higher level.

(2) Public storm Signal No. 2 means that a moderate tropical cyclone will affect the locality. Special attention is given to the latest position, direction and speed of movement and intensity of the tropical cyclone as it may intensify with winds greater than 60 kph to 100 kph and may hit in at least 24 hours.

During this phase, some trees may be tilted; old galvanized-iron (GI) roofing may roll off and some agricultural products are moderately damaged. Sea and coastal waters are dangerous to smaller crafts, so fishermen are advised not to go to the sea. The public is advised to stay indoors and secure properties.

Disaster preparedness and response agencies/organization are activated to respond appropriately to distress calls.

(3) Public storm Signal No. 3 indicates that a strong tropical cyclone will affect the locality with maximum sustained winds greater than 100 kph to 180 kph, and may be expected to hit in at least 18 hours.

During this stage, most plants are destroyed and trees may be uprooted. There may be considerable damage to structures of light to medium construction. There is widespread disruption of electrical power and communication services, and moderate to heavy damage may be expected in both agricultural and industrial sectors. Travel by sea and by air is very risky. Classes in all levels and work are suspended at this point.

(4) Public storm Signal No. 4 indicates that a very powerful typhoon will affect the locality with volatile and strong winds of more than 185 kph and may be expected to hit in at least 12 hours.

The situation is potentially destructive with trees uprooted, plantations severely damaged, electric power distribution and communication service disrupted. In this storm signal, all travel and outdoor activities should be cancelled.

However, learning about signs and warning, effects and dangers of typhoons are not enough. Consumers should know what to do before the storm comes to be able to protect themselves, their family and their property. Here are some precautionary measures that might be helpful:

Educate members of the family on preparedness and protection.

Reinforce homes to withstand wind and flooding by installing guy wires or buttresses to main structural columns. This reinforces anchorage to the ground.

Check roof for leaks and loose roofing thatches or Gl sheets. Ensure that main structural elements of roof are secured to the top beams ofthe house. Cut off loose tree branches and excessive foliage or leaves. Check on everything that may be blown away or turned loose. Flying objects are dangerous during typhoons.

Store adequate supply of food and drinking water. Prepare flashlights, batteries, matches, kerosene lamps or candies in anticipation of power failure, and keep a transistor radio, and listen to latest reports, bulletins and announcements.

If the eye of the storm passes over your place, there may be a lull lasting for a few minutes to half an hour. Stay put. Make emergency repairs if necessary, but remember that wind will blow suddenly from the opposite direction with even greater violence.

If your house floods severely or is in the path of mudslides, move to a designated evacuation center and stay there until the storm has completely subsided.

Slightly open a window or door opposite from where the wind comes from to avoid pressure build up.

Stay calm. The ability to think and act rationally in the face of emergency rubs off to other members of the family.

When disasters strike, there is really no point in pointing fingers and laying blame on what was not done. Do not let ignorance rob you of your home, livelihood and life.

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