Lifesaver: How to prepare for and survive a cyclone

Robie de Guzman   •   December 2, 2019   •   774

The Philippines gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones each year.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the peak of the typhoon season is July through October, when nearly 70 percent of all typhoons develop.

As a country prone to cyclones and other natural calamities, preparing for a disaster can start before there is an immediate threat.

Cyclone formation can be identified by meteorologists well in advance as they take shape over oceans before tracking towards coastlines. This gives ample time for the public to prepare for an incoming storm.

So, how can you prepare for a cyclone?

UNTV’s Lifesaver program has prepared this what-to-do list to help you get ready before, during and after a storm.

If you live in a disaster-prone area, check with your local authorities if your property is located in an area vulnerable to flooding, storm surge and landslide so you would know how to proceed.

BEFORE a cyclone hits, you should:

Secure your home and other properties.

  • Tie down roofs with cables.
  • Repair loose roofing sheets and make sure these are firmly fastened in place
  • Cover beds and other items with plastic to protect it from water seeping in around windows and doors.
  • Secure debris or loose items such as potted plants, tools, garbage cans and other materials that could become airborne during strong winds.
  • Place valuable items and appliances on higher level to protect them from flooding.
  • Trim branches or tie down trees near your home that may topple during high winds.
  • Arrange flashlights, candles and lanterns in places where adults can easily find these items.
  • Prepare several gallons of drinking water on hand.

Prepare your family’s survival essentials.

  • Fully charge your mobile phones and other communication devices.
  • Store copies of legal documents such as passport, license, birth and marriage certificates and identification cards in a waterproof container.
  • Keep a stash of extra cash in a waterproof pouch.
  • Prepare your family’s Go Bag that you can grab when you have to evacuate.
  • Fill your vehicle’s tank with gas, and move it away from trees or structures that may collapse during the storm.

Prepare a disaster evacuation plan.

  • Meet your family members to discuss your evacuation plan.
  • Check your locality’s flood warning system and evacuation plan.
  • Be ready to leave your home and head to a temporary shelter when advised by authorities.
  • Keep yourself updated with the latest weather report.

DURING a cyclone, you should:

  • Keep calm but vigilant.
  • Watch television or listen to radio to get latest weather advisories.
  • Stay inside your home and away from windows, especially those that are made of glass.
  • Remain inside even when the eye of the storm is passing and all appears to be calm as heavy winds will soon follow.
  • Unplug all appliances and turn off the main power switch to avoid power spikes.
  • Shut off gas valve.
  • Use flashlights and lanterns when power outage occurs.
  • If living in low-lying area, consider seeking shelter elsewhere. Follow government advisories when there is a need to move to a safer place.

AFTER a storm, you should:

  • Wait for authorities advise on whether it is safe to return to your home.
  • Make sure that your house is safe and stable before you go in. carefully check your house for loose power lines, foundation cracks or other damage.
  • Watch out for live wires or outlet immersed in water.
  • Check the ceiling or walls for signs of sagging that may be dangerous if it falls.
  • Report damaged or fallen electrical posts to authorities.
  • Remove health hazards left behind by floodwater mud.
  • Remove water that accumulated in tires, cans or pots to avoid it from becoming a breeding spot for mosquitoes.

Watch more episodes of Lifesaver below for more information on preparing for a cyclone.

TD Carina forecast to weaken into LPA as it nears exit

Marje Pelayo   •   July 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression (TD) Carina is forecast to weaken into a low-pressure area (LPA) on Tuesday (July 14) afternoon or Wednesday morning (July 15). 

According to the latest update from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the weather system is seen to move towards the north direction while heading towards the Bashi Channel and the southern portion of Taiwan. 

As of 11:00AM on Tuesday, TD Carina was located at 155km west of Basco, Batanes. 

It is moving toward the northwest direction at 25 km/h packed with maximum sustained winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of 55 km/h. 

PAGASA said tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 (TWCS) remains over Batanes which means isolated light to moderate rains with at times heavy rain showers will prevail today until tomorrow as well as in nearby areas, the Babuyan Islands and Ilocos Norte. 

Metro Manila and the rest of the country, meanwhile, will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers today and tomorrow due to localized thunderstorms. 

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LPA east of Cagayan province develops into TD Carina

Marje Pelayo   •   July 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — At 2:00 am on Monday (July 13), the low pressure area (LPA) spotted east of Cagayan province has developed into tropical depression Carina, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

As of 4:00 AM today, the weather system was located at 315 km East of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan packed with maximum sustained winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 55 km/h. It is moving westward at 20 km/h.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) #1 is raised over the areas of Batanes, Babuyan Group of Islands, and Northern Cagayan specifically Sta. Ana, Gonzaga, Sta. Teresita, Bugey, Eastern Lal-O and Baggao.)

This means moderate to heavy rains will prevail over Babuyan Islands and the eastern section of mainland Cagayan and Isabela. 

Meanwhile, light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, the rest of Cagayan Valley, Aurora, and the northern portion of Quezon including Polillo Islands.

Moderate to rough seas will be experienced over the northern and eastern seaboards of Luzon in the next 24 hours thus small seacrafts are advised not to venture out to sea.

The center of TD Carina is forecast to pass close to the northeastern portion of Cagayan and the Babuyan Islands between tonight and Tuesday morning. 

A landfall scenario over these areas remains likely, according to PAGASA.

Metro Manila, Western Visayas, and the rest of Luzon, meanwhile, will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due to the effects of TD Carina.

Mindanao and the rest of Visayas will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers mostly in the afternoon or evening due to localized thunderstorms. 

Zambales, parts of Pangasinan still under Wind Signal #1 due to TD Butchoy

Marje Pelayo   •   June 12, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Butchoy maintains its strength while moving west-northwestward over the West Philippine Sea.

As of 7:00 AM Friday (June 12),  the center of TD Butchoy was estimated based on all available data at 50 km West of Iba, Zambales.

It is moving towards the west-northwest direction at a speed of 15 kilometers per hour, packed with maximum sustained winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 70 km/h.

The weather agency PAGASA has lifted Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal #1 over Bataan, Tarlac, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan and some municipalities in Pangasinan.

However, Wind Signal number 1 remains over Zambales and western portion of Pangasinan where  Moderate to heavy with at times intense rains is expected throughout the day.

PAGASA advised residents in affected areas to prepare for possible flashfloods and landslides.

It advises residents to coordinate with local disaster authorities and constantly monitor PAGASA updates for precautionary actions. 


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