The rainy season is most definitely upon us. PAGASA has already warned of more intense weather disturbances and stronger typhoons, with approximately 16 more cyclones estimated to land on Philippine shores in the coming months. Typhoon “Ondoy”, which jarred the Metro in 2009, has not been forgotten, as some municipalities and Barangays are more prepared for such disastrous events because of it.
If you are awakened one night by a heavy downpour and power outage, and scramble for a flash light to check on the kids but couldn’t find one, or if you realize one day that your child does not have any raingear to protect himself from a heavy downpour, then you certainly need to be better prepared and more vigilant.
Being on guard all the time does not denote checking the PAGASA website twice a day, or the constant re-telling of Tsunami horror stories to your children and household help that may make Manang sleep with a life vest. Being prepared denotes awareness of the current situation, possible scenarios and the implementation of simple measures to keep home and property safe.
As mothers and fathers, we are leaders of the household. Leaders always find their center in times of crisis. Leaders know exactly what steps should be taken, and should be able to exact these measures around the home. Leaders do not panic. If King Leonidas began screaming like a toddler in a tantrum when his armies were rained on by arrows, there wouldn’t be the movie “300”. With preparation comes organization, so here is a little list for you to keep and most definitely share. Some may seem banal and obvious, but they wont be once you find yourself in such a situation.
1. Flashlights and candles Make a quick inventory of all flashlights in the home and in your vehicles. Dispose of all broken items and batteries responsibly, and invest on sturdy, rust-proof flash lights. If you choose to recycle batteries, make sure they are always charged and that there is always a working batch in the lights. If not, purchase and update your stocks.
There should be one functioning flashlight per room, and a small pocket light on your bedside drawer and in the glove compartment of your car. The must also be one or two for the lower floors for an average-sized house. Make sure everyone knows where they are, and that younger children are thoroughly instructed not to play with them.
Keep a good batch of candles and matches beside you, making sure that children have no access to matches.
2. OMG – Openings, Mirrors, Gutters Check all home openings like doors and windows. Apply WD40 on window hinges ensuring they close properly. Check all glass panels for breakage and replace if necessary.
Make an ocular inspection of all mirrors and breakables at home. Replace or discard broken ones.
Check if your gutter system is functioning optimally. A professional may help you with this.