October 2, 2009

Emergency Preparations for Every Home...and Car.

With the country still reeling from the onslaught of Typhoon Ondoy, people all over Manila are frantically preparing for what is now predicted to be Super Typhoon Pepeng. I never used to heed typhoon warnings much, mainly because I used to think I live in a flood-safe neighborhood. However, this weekend's events made me rethink my assumptions. I'm sure all those who were taken by surprise last Saturday never imagined what would have happened, right? In fact, if it weren't for the fact that I slept through my alarm, I was all set to leave my house for a day of work thinking it would just be another ordinary rainy day.

As I watched the news unfold, I started to realize that with climate change being what it is, I have to rethink a lot of things. I decided my best defense here is being prepared for what ever Mother Nature throws at me.

I decided to make a emergency kit for both my home and my car. Thankfully, I have a whole bunch of freezer sized-Ziplock plastic bags which helped me waterproof a lot of things! I have a bag with some extra clothes, one with medicines, another with photocopies of important documents. I also put in one of those thick candles, a box of matches, a flashlight and batteries in one bag. Toiletries and cleaning aids (alcohol, wipes, disinfectant) in another. I put these all in a big box near my door so I can grab it in case I need to flee. There are also some canned goods in it, crackers, a gallon of water and one of the air mattress adjustable beds my mom brought home from her last trip to the States.Oh, and of course, at least two days worth of food and biscuits for my dog.I hope I never have to use this box in my lifetime, but it helps to be prepared, right? Save for the bed, I have similar supplies in my car's trunk now. Of course, with much smaller quantities.

Other suggestions for emergency preparations include the following:
1. Rope. I saw a lot of this being used to protect against currents last weekend.
2. Tools (like a wrench) to help shut off water valves.
3. Duct tape. Why? Because I'm a big fan of duct tape!!! Seriously though, these suckers are just about good for anything.
4. Rehydrating salts or oral hydration tablets.
5. Copies of prescriptions and the like.
6. Toys, books and entertainment stuff for yourself and kids, if you have them.

I'm sure there are a lot of other things that may come in useful during an emergency. I suppose finding what you need and value personally will be an important factor in planning out your disaster preparedness kit.

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