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Stranded: Dealing With The Typhoon Season

Image by Regulus Star Notes

It is rainy season once more and everyone in the Philippine Islands is getting drenched, in one form or the other. From Batanes to Tawi-Tawi, the rains have started to pour, right on the dot, as soon as Philippine Calendars hit June. If you were first-hand victims of last week's double-storm typhoon fury, you'd have probably stocked on a few essentials to brace for the future typhoons that this country has been used to being a recipient of.

If you were in Makati and Metro Manila's business districts, the floods in some areas may have gotten you stranded. Some children, students and teens both, had been stranded for as long as 14 hours and beyond. Some others had to go home the next day because of the floods. The storms had affected both students and the working populace alike. Though if you think about it, it was not the fact that there were storms that people got stranded. It was because Metro Manila quickly got flooded that they were inconvenienced.

It was also an unfortunate slight on the government to have not issued the right storm warning. CHED caught the ire of news anchor Pia Hontiveros because of the way they responded to the reporters' questions, on top of not suspending classes for the tertiary levels.

It is funny to note that our government has it backwards at times. There were storms that did not come with the right warning levels, but the damage and the chaos wreaked reached catastrophic levels. And there were storms that the government predicted to be "supertyphoons," but the skies were clear. Such irony.

While we could debate on who's to blame for such tragedies that weren't coordinated well, let's face the fact that debating will only take us farther from the solution. One good way to deal with it is just to prepare and brace yourself for the inevitable.

Here is our suggestion on how to deal with flash floods and the prospect of getting stranded, especially in Metro Manila:

Your survival kit should contain your essentials:
  • a shirt,
  • underwear, 
  • a pair of thin-material bottoms, 
  • toothbrush, toothpaste, 
  • two packets of biscuits or other foodstuff that has a long expiry period, 
  • a small bottle of water, 
  • an umbrella, 
  • a small flashlight, 
  • extra cellphone batteries charged to 3/4 its maximum.

Your clothing items should be thin enough to be folded into a small bag, but good enough to keep you dry and warm. The cellphone batteries have to be charged at 3/4 because lithium ion batteries should be stored at half-charge, but since you are preparing for at least 12 hours of being stranded, 3/4 charge would make more sense.

Pack your items into a plastic bag before packing it into a sturdy, preferably waterproof bag. It would be best if this bag were no longer than 1' in length on one side, so that you can keep it in a bag that you carry around. That way, you'd always be ready for moments like last week's.

There is no other long-term solution to the flash floods in the country than an upgrade of our infrastructure. So help in nation-building by praying, paying your taxes and being law-abiding citizens. Meanwhile, there's no other way to deal with catastrophes than having a solution-oriented attitude towards these.

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