Lifesaver: How to prepare for and survive a cyclone

Robie de Guzman   •   December 2, 2019   •   300

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.

Several parts of PH to witness annular solar eclipse on Dec. 26

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 12, 2019

The annular solar eclipse as seen from Hongdao of Qingdao, eastern China’s Shandong province, 15 January 2010. EPA-EFE/WU HONG

Several parts of the Philippines will be able to witness the annular solar eclipse on December 26, according to PAGASA.

“An annular eclipse happens when the moon is farthest from Earth. Because the moon is farther away from Earth, it seems smaller and does not block the entire view of the sun thus creating a ‘ring of fire’ effect,” according to PAGASA.

The annular eclipse will be observed in the southernmost part of Davao Occidental.

According to PAGASA, the best site of observation is in Balut and Batulaki, Sarangani Island, Davao Occidental while other parts of the country will observe it as partial solar eclipse.

The earliest start of the eclipse will begin at 12:32 p.m. in Manila while it will begin at 12:43 p.m. in Balut Island. —AAC

Bicol, Northern Samar may expect occasional heavy rains on Tuesday — PAGASA

Marje Pelayo   •   December 10, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The tail-end of a cold front is currently affecting the Bicol Region, Quezon province and Northern Samar, according to PAGASA.

This brings cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms over the said areas thus residents are advised to take appropriate actions for possible landslides and flash floods.

Meanwhile, the northeast monsoon is now affecting the rest of Luzon.

Specifically, this brings cloudy skies with light rains over Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region and Aurora province where gusty conditions in coastal and mountainous areas are observed.

Mindanao, Palawan, and the rest of Visayas, however, will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to localized thunderstorms.

Similar weather condition will prevail over Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon due to the Northeast Monsoon but with no significant impact, PAGASA said.

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All wind signals now lifted as ‘Tisoy’ further weakens — PAGASA

Marje Pelayo   •   December 4, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – State weather agency PAGASA has lifted all tropical cyclone wind signals (TCWS) as severe tropical storm ‘Tisoy’ further weakens while moving towards the West Philippine Sea.

As of 10:00 AM on Wednesday (December 4), the weather disturbance was located at 290 km West Southwest of Subic, Zambales with maximum sustained winds of 95 kph and gustiness of up to 115 kph while moving towards the west-northwest direction at 15 kph.

PAGASA said, however, that moderate to rough seas may still prevail over the western seaboard of Central Luzon and the southern seaboard of Southern Luzon.

Furthermore, moderate with occasional heavy rains is seen to affect the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Aurora.

Residents in these areas are advised to take appropriate actions for possible landslides and flashfloods.

Meanwhile, sea travel is not advised especially for small sea vessels over the seaboards of Northern Luzon, eastern seaboard of Central Luzon, and the eastern and western seaboards of Southern Luzon due to rough sea conditions.

Likewise, gusty conditions associated with the Northeast Monsoon may also be experienced in other areas of Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, CALABARZON and MIMAROPA, especially in the coastal and mountainous areas.

According to PAGASA, ‘Tisoy’ is likely to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility between tonight and tomorrow morning.

It is also expected to further weaken due to the effects of the Northeast Monsoon.

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