The Philippines sits at the center of the typhoon belt, an area in the western Pacific Ocean where the most intense storms form. Given that the Philippines is highly exposed to typhoons, adequate preparation is vital to ensure that the anticipated risks are mitigated, if not completely avoided. To help you prepare for rainy days, you can find useful tips below to fix your home for the season.
Clean your gutters and ensure they are structurally sound. They can get clogged with debris such as leaves, resulting in overflowing and pooling of water. Eventually, some of this water can enter the walls of your house. If not addressed promptly, this can lead to foundation cracks and may even cause mold growth on your walls that can trigger allergic reactions in some people.
It is important to give your roof a yearly professional checkup to catch problems early on. Professional roof inspection includes evaluating the ceiling from the inside to gauge the remaining life of the roof. The roof materials are also examined to identify their nature of deterioration.
Ideally, no tree part should touch your home, and branches that hang over your roofline should be trimmed. Consider hiring a certified arborist to get the job done right. If you think the trees are valuable assets (which they are), an arborist can help protect them while keeping your home safe from potential damage.
Make sure your windows and doors seal all the way. This helps increase your home’s energy efficiency while protecting you from external factors or debris. There are home improvement specialists you can contact to reinforce your windows and doors or install new ones. While it seems costly, this saves you from making possible mistakes by doing it on your own.
Make sure all canals and drains around your home are fully functional and without any blockages. Even the most minimal repairs should be done before the rainy season. Water damage can become costly when not discovered and addressed at the onset.
You should also address the possibility of contracting dengue fever during rainy days. According to the World Health Organization, over 420,000 dengue cases were reported in the Philippines in 2019, the highest in Asia.
The dengue virus breeds in murky, stagnant water. This is why you should get rid of standing water whenever possible. Pails, watering cans, and water storage containers must be turned over and kept indoors. Swimming pools, vases, and similar items should also be regularly cleaned and maintained.
Even if your home is reinforced and all drainage pipes and canals are free-flowing, some things that are out of your control can affect your home. That’s why it’s best to prepare your home accordingly to reduce the risk of flooding in your property. Such preparation includes appliances being kept high from the floor and far from the windows. Electronic devices should also be stored in shelves that won’t be affected by water should it make its way indoors. You should also consider mounting your television if you haven’t already.
In 2020, more than 305,000 homes were damaged by three consecutive typhoons that hit the country. While we can anticipate possible dangers, it is difficult to predict the extent of damage of an incoming typhoon.
While you may already have home insurance, it is essential to assess how much it covers. For instance, most basic programs cover only fire or lightning-related incidents, while comprehensive home insurance packages address property damage caused by natural phenomena like typhoons and floods. Make sure your insurance falls under the latter so that you can be protected from a potential financial blow.
In case the weather takes a turn for the worst, it’s best to have an emergency kit. In a sudden power outage or flooding, having these supplies at home can bring a ton of convenience.
Most smartphones have built-in flashlights you can use when you need a light source in case of a power outage. However, a flashlight is a smart choice when you’re trying to conserve your phone’s battery. When your flashlight runs out of juice, it helps to have candles prepared as your second best choice.
As you prepare for an incoming typhoon, be ready to stay at home for a prolonged period. Secure a seven-day supply of medications. Also, have a stock of personal hygiene items like toilet paper, toothbrushes, hand sanitizers, and disinfectant wipes.
Store several days’ supply of bottled water and non-perishable food items, such as whole wheat crackers, nuts, cereal, granola bars, canned tuna, canned vegetables, and dried fruits. Remember that your body’s nutritional needs during an emergency are different from its usual requirements. Protein-rich and energy-boosting foods will help ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need during the stormy weather.
Along with your medical supply, be sure to keep a handy first aid kit. The Red Cross notes that a basic first aid kit should include the following:
– Absorbent Compress Dressings
– Adhesive Bandages
– Cloth Tape
– Antibiotic Ointment Packets
– Antiseptic Wipe Packets
– Hydrocortisone Ointment Packets
– Emergency Blanket
– Instant Cold Compress
– Latex-Free Gloves
– Breathing Barrier
– Triangular Bandages
– Oral Thermometer
– Emergency first aid manual
A dumbphone could come in handy, especially during a typhoon where a power outage can happen anytime. Since it uses less power, a basic phone has a long-lasting battery. If your primary phone dies, you’ll still have a backup to use for emergency texts and calls.
During stormy seasons, it’s wise to have a portable weather radio on hand for updates in case the power goes out. Many self-powered radios have additional emergency features like a built-in flashlight, a clock, a USB port to charge your phone, or an emergency alarm. Some models also include solar panels you can use if you run out of batteries.
When it comes to emergency preparedness, a toolkit is one of the most crucial things you should always have on your checklist. The contents of a toolkit can be personalized to suit your needs. However, a standard kit should have basic survival tools, such as a plier, wrench, multitool, folding knife, whistle, and window breaker.
With a typhoon, heavy downpours are inevitable. And when that happens, you want to be prepared. Have extra umbrellas and raincoats on hand in case you need to replace broken ones during the onslaught of the typhoon. You can also keep a pair of rain boots for each family member, which comes useful when your home or the streets get flooded quickly.
The rainy season in the Philippines can mean heavy downpours, flooding, and occasional brownouts. In preparing for these anticipated incidents, keep in mind that a weatherproof home is still your safest form of protection.
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