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Posts Tagged ‘Typhoon Ondoy’

Typhoon/Hurricane

Posted by Shamn on 10/01/2009


Proper Preparation Before the Hurricane or Typhoon can really save You and Your Family During the disaster

Before a typhoon or hurricane strikes:

To prepare for a hurricane/typhoon, you should take the following measures:

  • Make plans to secure your property. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Determine how and where to secure your boat.
  • Consider building a safe room.

During typhoon/hurricane:

If a typhoon is likely in your area, you should:

  • Listen to the radio or TV for information.
  • Secure your home, close storm shutters, and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
  • Turn off propane tanks.· Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
  • Moor your boat if time permits.
  • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.

You should evacuate under the following conditions:

  • If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
  • If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure—such shelters are particularly hazardous during hurricanes no matter how well fastened to the ground.
  • If you live in a high-rise building—hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
  • If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an inland waterway.
  • If you feel you are in danger.

If you are unable to evacuate, go to your safe room. If you do not have one, follow these guidelines:

  • Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
  • Close all interior doors—secure and brace external doors.
  • Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm – winds will pick up again.
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.
  • Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.

 After the typhoon or hurricane:

General Tips

Don’t return to your flood-damaged home before the area is declared to be safe by local officials. Returning home can be both physically and mentally challenging. Above all, use caution.

Check for injuries. Do not attempt to move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of death or further injury. If you must move an unconscious person, first stabilize the neck and back, then call for help immediately.

  • Keep a battery-powered radio with you so you can listen for emergency updates and news reports.
  • Use a battery-powered flash light to inspect a damaged home.
    Note: The flashlight should be turned on outside before entering – the battery may produce a spark that could ignite leaking gas, if present.
  • Watch out for animals, especially poisonous snakes. Use a stick to poke through debris.
  • Be wary of wildlife and other animals
  • Use the phone only to report life-threatening emergencies.
  • Stay off the streets. If you must go out, watch for fallen objects; downed electrical wires; and weakened walls, bridges, roads, and sidewalks.

Before You Enter Your Home

Walk carefully around the outside and check for loose power lines, gas leaks, and structural damage. If you have any doubts about safety, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering.

Do not enter if:

  • You smell gas.
  • Floodwaters remain around the building.
  • Your home was damaged by fire and the authorities have not declared it safe.

Going Inside Your Home

When you go inside your home, there are certain things you should and should not do. Enter the home carefully and check for damage. Be aware of loose boards and slippery floors. The following items are other things to check inside your home:

  • Natural gas. If you smell gas or hear a hissing or blowing sound, open a window and leave immediately. Turn off the main gas valve from the outside, if you can. Call the gas company from a neighbor’s residence. If you shut off the gas supply at the main valve, you will need a professional to turn it back on. Do not smoke or use oil, gas lanterns, candles, or torches for lighting inside a damaged home until you are sure there is no leaking gas or other flammable materials present.
  • Sparks, broken or frayed wires. Check the electrical system unless you are wet, standing in water, or unsure of your safety. If possible, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If the situation is unsafe, leave the building and call for help. Do not turn on the lights until you are sure they’re safe to use. You may want to have an electrician inspect your wiring.
  • Roof, foundation, and chimney cracks. If it looks like the building may collapse, leave immediately.
  • Appliances. If appliances are wet, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. Then, unplug appliances and let them dry out. Have appliances checked by a professional before using them again. Also, have the electrical system checked by an electrician before turning the power back on.
  • Water and sewage systems. If pipes are damaged, turn off the main water valve. Check with local authorities before using any water; the water could be contaminated. Pump out wells and have the water tested by authorities before drinking. Do not flush toilets until you know that sewage lines are intact.
  • Food and other supplies. Throw out all food and other supplies that you suspect may have become contaminated or come in to contact with floodwater. Your basement. If your basement has flooded, pump it out gradually (about one third of the water per day) to avoid damage. The walls may collapse and the floor may buckle if the basement is pumped out while the surrounding ground is still waterlogged.
  • Open cabinets. Be alert for objects that may fall.
  • Clean up household chemical spills. Disinfect items that may have been contaminated by raw sewage, bacteria, or chemicals. Also clean salvageable items.
  • Call your insurance agent. Take pictures of damages. Keep good records of repair and cleaning costs.

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Flood

Posted by Shamn on 10/01/2009

A lot of people are not prepared for a natural disaster or even know how to prepare.  After watching the effect of typhoon Ondoy in the Philippines, I am just speechless. We just don’t expect this kind of disaster.  We know that disaster can strike anytime and it’s even sad just to think about that.

 Here, I found some good information on how to prepare before, during and after the flood:

Flood: Know Your Terms

Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a flood hazard:]
Flood Watch:
Flooding is possible. Tune in to Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Flash Flood Watch:
Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Flood Warning:
Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
Flash Flood Warning:
A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.

Before a Flood Strikes

Step 1     Call your local “American Red Cross” office to assess your home’s flood risk.
Step 2     Put together a supply kit including battery-powered flashlights and radio, first aid and medications, rain gear and warm clothing, sleeping bags or bedding, several days worth of canned foods and bottled water, and any other personal items you must have for health and safety.
Step 3    Form a family emergency/evacuation plan. Make sure everyone knows where to go in the event of a flood warning. Make a list of those places you could go–houses of family or friends, shelters or other safe public buildings on higher ground. Provide each family member with a written list of the locations and phone numbers, preferably in order, from first to last resort.
Step 4     Check with your insurance agent on whether or not flood insurance is available for your home. Consult a professional when making flood insurance decisions.
Step 5      Elevate your water heater, furnace and electrical panel to minimize damage if they are in flood-prone areas of your home.

During a Flood Watch or Warning

Step 1     Fill your car’s gas tank at the earliest suspicion of flood-producing weather or conditions. It will be your quick getaway if the time comes.
Step 2    Move what furniture and valuables you can to the highest floor of the house, or in single story homes, raise them off of the ground as much as possible. Do this at the onset of a flood watch.
Step 3    Stay tuned to local TV and radio for constant updates on the weather forecast, flood level, and watches and warnings. Take all advice and warnings seriously.
Step 4     Evacuate to higher ground as soon as a flood warning is issued. Follow your family evacuation plan while avoiding waterways at all costs. Do not drive into standing water and abandon your car immediately if it does stall in water. Search for high, dry ground, and get there as quickly as possible!

During a Flood

  • If a flood is likely in your area, you should: Listen to the radio or television for information.
  • Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
  • Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain.
  • If you must prepare to evacuate, you should do the following:
    Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
    Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.

If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:

  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall.
  • If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away. 

After a flood

  • Find out if it is safe to return to your property.
  • Take care as there may be hidden dangers in the flood water like sharp objects, raised manhole covers and pollution.
  • Flood water could have caused structural damage to your property.
  • Ring your buildings and contents insurance company as soon as possible
    In almost all cases the insurance company will send a loss adjuster to look at your property. They will confirm what repairs and replacements are needed and covered by your policy.
  • If you do not have insurance, your local council should be able to provide information on hardship grants or charities that may be able to help you.

Clearing up after a flood

There are a number of things to be aware of when clearing up after a flood.

1. Flood water can contain sewage, chemicals and animal waste. Always wear:
Waterproof outerwear, including gloves;
Wellington boots;
Face mask.

2.  If your electricity supply is not already switched off at the mains, get a qualified person to do this. DO NOT touch sources of electricity when standing in flood water.

3.  If you have gas or oil central heating and it has been checked by an engineer, turn it on. Keep the thermostat between 20-22 degrees centigrade for steady drying.

4.  You can get water out of your property using a pump and generator. Position the generator outside in the open air as generators produce carbon monoxide fumes which can kill.

5.  Only pump out water when flood levels outside your property start to be lower than inside. This reduces the risk of structural damage.

6.  Shovel mud away evenly from both sides of a wall. This stops pressure building
up on one side.

7.  You can clean and disinfect your property using ordinary household products.

8.  A garden hose is useful for washing down. Do not use high-pressure hoses as they blast contaminated matter into the air.

9.  If you are drying your property naturally, keep doors and windows open as much as possible. If using dehumidifiers, close external doors and windows.

10.  Local councils usually provide skips and extra rubbish collections for items that
your insurance company has agreed you can throw away.

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