Assignment: Photo Essay (Flood Photo Coverage) Essay
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog [avrotor.blogspot.com]
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday
It is an opportunity to document the present calamity; it is a chance to use photography to reach out for those in need, to be part of rescue and recovery operations, to share our sense of belonging in the spirit of civic consciousness and true faith. Or simply, as media students and practitioners. Narrow down your topic. Examples, relief operations, cleanup, emergency, human interest (saving a pet), local heroes, makeshift quarters, refugees in schools, ingenuity in action.
Discover the many good values of Filipinos in times of calamity: leadership, compassion, selflessness, cooperation (bayanihan), and the like. Organize assignment in a folder, complete with running story, photos with caption. No limit to number of pages.
As of this writing, Metro Manila, and the surrounding provinces, are experiencing the worst flood in recent memory. It is the aftermath of Typhoon Gener, exacerbated by intensified monsoon. It is another test on the magnitude of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.
This article is an update of an earlier post on how we prepare, respond and recover, in times of calamity. Here a checklist to follow.
1. Keep informed and abreast – Radio, TV, Internet, Telephone, neighbors, cellphone.
2. Know at fingertips emergency numbers for disaster, fire, earthquake, police, NDCC, DECS, DOH, others. Be emergency response conscious of evacuation sites, fire exits, hospitals and clinics,
Secure appliances and items (furniture, documents, books, toys, etc) on second floor or on safe area. Move heavy objects away from harm’s way, these include apparador, potted plants, heavy tools, etc.
3. Prepare for power cut off. Set your freezer to the coldest temperature setting to minimize spoilage if the power is cut off. Have on hand flashlight, candles, batteries, etc. Charge cellphones and emergency lights. Have enough LPG during the emergency period. Keep a spare tank. In the province be sure you have sufficient stock of dry firewood.
4. Have your car, motorbike, ready for emergency. If water rises, secure them to higher ground.
Always see to it that they are at tiptop condition.
5. Check windows and doors, walls and roofs. Reinforce and seal them if necessary. Have handy towels, rags and mops. Seal leaking walls and roof even before the typhoon season.
6. Stay at the strongest and safest place in the house if the typhoon gets severe. Keep away from flood water, electrical outlet and wire, china wares and glass windows.
7. Seal off broken window or door with mattress or sofa over as typhoon gets severe. Secure it there with a heavy piece of furniture. Draw curtains across the windows to prevent against flying glass. Release trapped pressure by allowing it to escape opposite the direction of wind. My experience is to open a window just enough to maintain equilibrium.
8. Remember that a typhoon has and eye of calm. Don’t be deceived; it may appear that the typhoon has passed. It is only half of it. The winds then pick up again, now in opposite direction.
9. When the typhoon is finally through, check for hazards - broken glass, fallen trees and downed power lines, dangerous damaged structure.
10. Observe hygiene during and after a typhoon. Make sure your drinking water is not contaminated. Boil if necessary. Make sure that food properly prepared and stored. Avoid eating food from roadside vendors. Protect yourself from WILD, acronym for Waterborne, Influenza, Leptospirosis, and Diarrhea. Include Dengue, and other diseases.
11. Give priority attention to infants, children and the elderly. Provide them with whatever measures of safety and comfort. Keep them out of danger. Evacuate, if necessary, before the typhoon strikes.
12. Get rid of breeding grounds of mosquitoes, flies, rats and other vermin. Drain stagnant pools, dispose containers with water. Dispose garbage properly. Use pesticide only if necessary. Application of insecticide, rodenticide, and fumigant needs expert’s supervision.
13. Protect yourself from toxic waste if you are living in an industrial center, these include toxic metals (mercury, lead, cadmium), hydrocarbon compounds, pesticide residues, oil spills.
14. Wear protective clothing like boots when wading in flood water, raincoat, jacket, had hard during clearing and construction, gloves, etc. Be careful with leptospirosis, a disease acquired from rat waste through flood water.
15. Protect yourself from road accidents. Chances are higher during and after a calamity because of fallen trees and poles, damaged and slippery roads, non-functioning traffic lights, obstructions of all sorts.
16. Have your damaged vehicle repaired and cleaned as soon as possible to prevent further damage, specially those submerged in flood. So with other appliances – refrigerators, TV sets, furniture, etc.
17. Have an adequate supply of food and water for the foreseeable period of emergency.
No panic buying, please.
18. Medicine cabinet, first aid kit. Check regularly and replenish the needed medical supplies, principally for the treatment of common ailments, and victims of accidents.
19. Protect your home from burglars (akyat bahay). Don't fall unwary victim to rogues. Bad elements of society usually take advantage on the hopeless, like refugees in a calamity.
20. Keep in touch with loved ones, relatives, friends to relieve anxiety. It is timely to text some kind words to the the infirmed, lonely, aged. Offer whatever help you can extend. These are times to exercise neighborliness in action. ~
Acknowledgement: Time Magazine, Internet, author's students at UST Faculty of Arts and Letters