Friday, June 8, 2018

Typhoon, Flood, Tsunami, Earthquake, and Other Disasters: Always Be Prepared

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog

This article is an update of an earlier post on how we prepare, respond and recover, in times of calamity. Here is a checklist to follow.  Add to this list other necessary measures, particularly those that fit into the conditions of your place.

1. Keep informed and abreast – Radio, TV, Internet, Telephone, neighbors, cellphone. Social media in action.

 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. Dra
w 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 an 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.

Typical flood scenes 
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.~

Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), the strongest storm to make landfall in recorded history, flattened coconut trees like match sticks. 2012

Deadliest Cyclones

Dates of impact
September 1881 typhoon
1881, September 27
Haiyan/Yolanda 2013
2013, November 7–8
Thelma/Uring 1991
1991, November 4–7
Bopha/Pablo 2012
2012, December 2–9
Angela Typhoon
1867, September 22
Winnie 2004
2004, November 27–29
October 1897 Typhoon
1897, October 7
Ike/Nitang 1984
1984, September 3–6
Fengshen/Frank 2008
2008, June 20–23
Durian/Reming 2006
2006, November 29-December 1

       Typhoon Lando - Oct 22-28, 2015 - In terms of sheer strength and scope of destruction, Typhoon Lando (international name: Koppu) was the worst storm to hit the Philippines, with USD11 billion loss, 464 death.
Most destructive

Haiyan (Yolanda)
89.6 billion
2.02 billion
Bopha (Pablo)
42.2 billion
1.04 billion
Rammasun (Glenda)
38.6 billion
871 million
Parma (Pepeng)
27.3 billion
608 million
Nesat (Pedring)
15 billion
333 million
Fengshen (Frank)
13.5 billion
301 million
Megi (Juan)
11 billion
255 million
Ketsana (Ondoy)
11 billion
244 million
Mike (Ruping)
10.8 billion
241 million
Angela (Rosing)
10.8 billion
241 million

Indian Ocean Tsunami, Dec 26, 2004 (Christmas Tsunami)
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake occurred  on 26 December with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia resulting a disastrous tsunami killing 230,000 people in 14 countries, and inundating coastal communities with waves up to 30 metres (100 ft) high. Hardest hit are Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. With a magnitude of  9.1–9.3, it is the third-largest earthquake ever recorded on a seismograph.  Photo of a village in Sumatra

The earthquake had the longest duration of faulting ever observed, between 8.3 and 10 minutes. It caused the entire planet to vibrate as much as 1 centimetre (0.4 inches) and triggered other earthquakes as far away as Alaska. A worldwide humanitarian response amounted to US$14 billion in humanitarian aid.

Fukushima Japan Tsunami,  March 11, 2011

It was a city known for its beautiful beaches and boasts one of the longest cherry blossom tree tunnels in Japan. But after a tsunami and a nuclear disaster both struck in the space of 12 months, Tomioka near Fukushima was turned into a ghost city.

More than 15,000 residents living in 6,000 houses were forced to evacuate in March 2011 because of safety fears concerning dangerous radiation levels. Three years on, schools and business are still prevented from returning while parks, playgrounds, roads and the city's train station have been left covered in overgrown grass.

A total of 300,000 people have been evacuated from the east coast of the country since the disasters and 15,884 have died. (Photo shows a boat left on a highway for three years on the outskirts of the deserted city, which was evacuated because of radiation fears following the nuclear disaster.)

Acknowledgement: Internet, Wikipedia

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