It is a week of typhoons here in the Philippines. As pointed out by CNN meteorologist Ivan Cabrera in his Twitter account:
The Philippines was badly hit by typhoon Pedring earlier this week, resulting to the destruction of the seawall that led to the spillage of water from Manila Bay to Roxas Boulevard, all the way to Taft Avenue. Establishments, most of which have become landmarks in the picturesque tourist spot, have closed down due to floods and brownouts.
In other areas, water levels are rising, especially in the Bulacan province. People have been staying on the roofs of their houses for days, waiting to be rescued, and running out of food. And yet, this weekend, another typhoon, Quiel, is set to hit Luzon again.
It is time for us Filipinos to pack our emergency kits and Go Bags. Times like these, a typical list for Filipinos during typhoons include:
- Canned goods especially sardines and corned beef
- Rice and bread
- Flashlight with batteries
- Giant fan or pamaypay (preferably anahaw)
- Empty 5-gallon water container or any suitable flotation device
- Drinking water
- Transistor radio with batteries
- Cellphones – charged and loaded
- Jackets, raincoats, and life vests
- First aid kit
These are just the basics, but most households cannot even afford to store them. What a striking contrast to citizens of richer countries. Recently, a storm hit New York and even my Filipino friends on Facebook posted about how they were stocking up on essentials from the hardware store.
After typhoon Ondoy hit the Philippines in 2009, my sister from the US sent me her emergency kit. This may be typically stored in the emergency kits and Go Bags of most households in the US:
CALAMITY DISASTER KIT
- First Aid Kit
- Crank radio/ flashlight/ cell charger
- Simple Whistle
- All season blanket
- Emergency blanket
- Fleece jacket
- UPF-50 shirt
- Long pants
- Hiking boots
- Waterproof jacket
- Gasmask (N95)
- Waterproof matches
- Emergency candles
- Work gloves
- Camping knife
- Cooking pot
- Metal Spoon/Fork
- Can opener
- Small lysol spray
- Box cutter knife
- Plastic sheet
- Duct tape
- Toilet Paper
- Personal Wipes
- 5-gallon water carrier
- Water purification tablets
- Water purification bottle
- Water purification system
- Notepad + Pen
- Playing cards
- Energy bars
- Bottled water
- Garbage bag
My very practical sister, instead of sending us Spam in her balibayan boxes, sends us stuff from this list, school supplies, and other household items.
During the brownout caused by Pedring’s howling winds last Tuesday, my family was surrounded by these gadgets:
1. Eton Solar, Hand Crank Radio, Flashlight and Cell Phone Charger
The Eton-American Red Cross FR-150 Microlink is a Solar-Powered, Self-Powered AM/FM/Weatherband Portable Radio with Flashlight and Cell Phone Charger. It is designed to keep you in touch with the rest of the world, even when you are miles away from civilization. It has a high-quality AM/FM tuner, providing you with news, entertainment and public service announcements. It also integrates a NOAA Weather Band receiver that brings you weather forecasts, alerts and other emergency messages–information vital to backpackers and travelers. It has reliable flashlight and can also charge your cell phone. Cell phone charger supports over 2,000 different cell phone models. This can be a very good gift idea for Father’s day or some other special occasion.
2. Eton FR1000 Voicelink self-powered hand-crank radio
It combines 2 Way GMRS technology, analog tuner receives seven NOAA weather bands, AM, and FM signals to prepare you for any emergency situation. Eton FR1000 Voicelink also built in flashlight with six bright white LED, emergency siren alerts and cell phone charger.
Other Eton FR1000 Voicelink features include a 3.5mm headphone output, a microphone jack, an external speaker, a digital clock alarm/snooze function, an LCD display and a battery meter indicator.
3. Jeep Crank Flashlight with Compass
4. Coleman waterproof matches
5. All the batteries we will ever need, AA or AAA, rechargeable or disposable:
6. A conveniently-packaged fire extinguisher:
And so much more. We have ponchos, ropes, pocket knives, garbage bags, gloves, energy bars, and most of the things found on the list above. I know we are blessed to have these, as well as other gifts from our relatives abroad, to help us prepare for typhoons and other disasters.
Filipinos, however, are resourceful and resilient, as I posted here. We make do with what we have and always find the humor in everything. Those are two things I love about our people.
How about you, what are your lifesavers? Leave a comment and let’s make a more comprehensive list for Filipinos, and hope that we get them to each household.
Let’s pray that the typhoon not bring too much destruction this weekend.