With recent disasters in Metro Manila (flooding caused by southwest monsoon rain more popularly known as “Habagat”) and Davao (6.6 magnitude earthquake), planning for calamities is now a must. What used to be a governnment issue is brought down to household level to encourage families and individuals to ready for disasters, specifically, flooding and earthquake, to reduce risks and potential casualties.
During the recent flooding in Marikina, my mother and my siblings (together with their children) decided to stay at home during the storm rage instead of evacuating. It was a decision painful to me because I was worried for their safety. I evacuated (at my brother in-law’s house) together with my child and husband because it’s my duty to be with them too. The flooding lasted for a couple of days and during those time, we cannot get near the house to bring them food. Thank God because I prepared what I call an “Ondoy Kit” which I left with them and which saved them from starving. I call it Ondoy kit as a reminder for preparedness since we were hit badly and unknowingly in 2009 by typhoon Ondoy where we lost almost everything in the flooding.
My “flood kit” contains essentials to survive in a flooding or earthquake for a few days. Everything is put in a plastic waterproof box with lock so it would simply float when flooded: easy-to-open can goods, hot chocolate packs, biscuits, disposable plates and utensils, flashlight, matches, medicines, and basic medical kit, and a small knife. A small, portable battery-operated radio was supposed to be inside the kit too but because I became tense when the floodwater reached our floor, I put it into my bag which got wet when we crossed the other side of the street against raging floodwater current.
The flooding has taught me (anew) the importance of preparedness for disasters. In fact, after the flooding subsided and we’re done cleaning, I replenished the stocks inside the disaster kit and wrote down the things I still need to put inside such as a utility knife from MartorUSA.com, a smaller radio that will not occupy much space, needle and thread, purifying tablet or straw purifier and some money.
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