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  • Tag-Ulan Na Naman! 8 Ways To Typhoon-Proof Your Home

    Make sure you unclog your gutters and secure your valuables.
    by Cielo Anne Calzado .
Tag-Ulan Na Naman! 8 Ways To Typhoon-Proof Your Home
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/Anna Nikonorova
  • The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) officially declared the start of the rainy season last June, with intermittent rains expected to occur in Metro Manila and the western part of the country.

    While the rain and the cool breeze it brings come as a relief after weeks of intense heat, it’s important to prepare for the season, especially if you live in a place where flooding will most likely take place.

    Camille Junio, a Marikina City resident, is familiar not just with the importance of preparing for the rainy season, but also with how devastating the effects of typhoons and heavy rainfall could be. In a post on the Facebook group, Home Buddies, Camille shared how she’s getting ready for what she refers to as, kakaba-kabang panahon ng tag-ulan.

    She posted a photo of her properly stored belongings and the state of her house during Typhoon Ulysses in 2020. By using vacuum storage bags, Camille was able to secure some of her essentials, most of which are seasonal items.

    “Bilang isang Marikeña, sinimulan ko nang ligpitin at itabi mga gamit na pwedeng 'di naman kailangan. Una diyan eh yung mga comforter, winter clothes, sandamakmak na bedsheets at curtains, towels, at mga damit na hindi masyado ginagamit (choice ninyo mag-donate),” she wrote.

    In an interview with SmartParenting.com.ph, Camille shared that living in Marikina and weathering some of the strongest typhoons taught her about the difference planning ahead makes. “It’s better to prepare ahead given the unpredictable weather conditions in our country. [We should] never wait for the typhoon or flood to come before we start taking action,” she shares.

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    Aiam Angeles, a mom of one who also lives in Marikina with her family, echoes the same sentiments. “After experiencing Typhoons Ondoy and Ulysses, my grandmother always reminds us that we should be alert. Even if maulan lang, we should never let our guards down,” Aiam says.

    How to prepare for the rainy season

    Being vigilant and making sure the home can withstand heavy rains are must-dos that can help keep you and your family safe during the rainy season. Prep for flooding and rainfall with these tips:

    1. Check your roof, drains, and gutters.

    Even before the rainy season starts, make sure you have your roof checked by the neighborhood carpenter. Tiny holes and warped materials may cause rainwater to enter your home.

    “I often have the roof checked for leaks, then the gutter cleaned to make sure there are no dried leaves that can clog it. I also have our plants trimmed frequently during the rainy season,” advises Camille.

    2. Prepare an emergency Go bag.

    During heavy rainfall, you’ll never know when or if you would need to evacuate to a higher ground due to flooding. Your Go bag can be your lifeline while waiting for the rain and flood to subside.

    Some of the things you need to have include personal hygiene items, alcohol, bottled water, non-perishable food, important documents, and first-aid items. Given the pandemic, make sure you have extra face masks and face shields in your bag, too. (Click here for a list of what to put in your Go bag.)

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    3. Raise your appliances.

    Washing machines, TVs, refrigerators, and appliances that can be damaged by flood must be raised especially if you live in a flood-prone area. If it has been raining non-stop, you may want to move those on the ground floor to a higher floor.

    4. Start securing your belongings.

    Since you cannot bring everything with you, it’s a must that your other valuables are properly stored and won’t be damaged by the flood. “Washables like clothes you don’t wear often, curtains, bed sheets, comforters, and denims can be stored into vacuum storage bags which are not only space-savers, they are waterproof, too,” says Camille.

    Aside from clothes and linens, the vacuum storage bags can also be used when safeguarding books, shoes, and small bags. Camille bought her vacuum storage bags from Shopee.

    Important documents and files should be on top of your list. You can keep these in plastic envelopes before storing them into their own vacuum storage bags.

    5. Check your pantry if you have enough supplies.

    Start stocking up on canned food, noodles, and food items with long shelf life. You can properly label and separate these from the rest of your supplies so you know that it’s meant for emergencies.

    6. Prepare a plan with the household.

    Everyone must be aware of what to do and where to go just in case there’s a need to evacuate the house. No one should be left behind, especially if you have elderly and young family members. You can have a specified meetup point and designated assignment so that each member knows what to do in case of emergencies.

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    7. Be informed.

    “Coordinate with your Barangay Disaster Coordinating Councils regarding the disaster plans for typhoon and ask where you’d most likely be evacuated to, if needed,” suggests Camille.” Be on the lookout for advisories from reputable news and government agencies.

    8. Don’t forget your pets.

    Don’t leave them behind and make sure you have a pet carrier or a leash so you can bring them with you should you need to leave the house.

    Preparing for the rainy season requires effort, but allotting time for it ensures your safety while preventing bigger damages. As Camille puts it, “material things can be replaced while lives cannot. We can always work for the materials things that can get damaged but it’s never wise to risk your life trying to salvage most of your belongings. I encourage everyone to organize and secure their essentials.”

    Click here to read how the Japanese get their kids ready for any disaster.

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