After 274 natural calamities visited the archipelago from 1995 to 2015, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNIDSR) tagged the Philippines as the fourth most disaster-prone country in the world.
Luckily, the Philippines is now equipped with technology that can foresee disasters such as typhoons, floods, and tsunami. These forecasts help people prepare themselves when calamity looms over the horizon.
Dr. Jessica Corral Dela-Peña FPCEM from ManilaMed recommends a to-do list that would help families best prepare in such a situation.
- Know the types of disasters there are
Educate yourself on the types of disasters most prone in your country. Also know what causes them, how massive they can get, and how long they usually last.
Using social media as medium of forecasting the climate is the easiest way. But in today’s time when misinformation is on the rise, studying about these dangerous calamities in social media isn’t enough.
That’s why it is recommended to use other reliable sources such as books and credible websites on the net to equip yourself with knowledge if ever the inevitable time comes.
- Keep an eye on the news
To avoid misconceptions and danger during the disaster, it is advisable to use radio and television to give you timely updates on the condition of whichever disaster is happening or coming. Be in tune with any of the medium available and always be on alert with any announcement affecting your area.
- Create a family disaster plan
According to Dr. Jessica Corral dela-Peña, families that are deeply affected by the disaster should “relocate to evacuation areas, maintain family and friend support and seek medical attention.”
Plot exit and entry routes, prepare a safe room, designate meeting places, and list persons to call in case a typhoon, flood, fire, or earthquake become massive than expected.
- Collect emergency contacts
Aside from the contact numbers of your relatives, keep a list of local emergency hotlines in your wallets, phones, and kits that will be helpful in times of disaster. Make sure to have multiple copies written in papers or in your mobiles phones.
See the list of local emergency numbers here.
- Be ready on the disaster effects
Dr. Corral Dela-Peña also adds that disasters might take a toll on our physical and mental health. It’s best to prepare the right medications for these common effects:
- Viral Illness (fever, cough, cold and diarrhea) contracting viruses in dirty waters in flood or heavy rainfall;
- Highlighted Stress (hypertension and hyperglycemia) usually occurs when you have diabetes and high blood pressure, and;
- Psychological Effects (traumatic stress, depression and nervous breakdown) caused by traumatic experiences during the disaster.
- Assemble necessary kits
- First aid kit: Prepare medicine for headache, dizziness, diarrhea, and constipation. Include adhesive bandages (Band-Aids) and betadine for small injuries, and stock gas masks for family members with asthma.
- Clothing and bedding: Store clothes, undergarments, and slippers good for one change. Include lightweight beddings especially blankets, as they will be helpful in getting a fair sleep.
- Food and water: Aside from canned goods, Dr. Corral Dela-Peña recommends to stock also these kinds of goods:
- Nuts, Power bars/Trail Mix, Dried fruits, Biscuits, Noodles, Chocolates or Sweets, Rice in vacuum sealed containers, and Beef jerky. It’s also advisable to save 10 liters of water, which will be enough for a family with 5 members.
- Others: Don’t forget other essential tools such as flashlight, whistle, batteries, compact radio, pocket knife, money, hygiene kit, and identification cards.
Be sure to update your kits every six months to keep up with the changes in emergency numbers, food expirations, and unclean tools.
For further updates and to know more about possible effects of disaster in your health, visit ManilaMed and get in touch at www.manilamed.com.ph