MANILA, Philippines - It pays to be prepared for loss of electricity, flood or any natural disaster, especially after Malacanang ordered the suspension of college classes and work in government offices in Metro Manila and several provinces on Tuesday due to heavy rains.
During these times, a flood survival kit may be handy as it may take days for emergency help to reach your home. Putting together one isn't really that hard -- the key is to know which items you'll be needing to get by, and to make sure that these will last long enough before help arrives.
Below are some items that can help you get started.
1. Bottled water - Bring enough clean drinking water to last you and your family for at least three days. People can survive without food, but not without water.
2. Food - Don't stock up on salty food items as these will require you to drink more water. Look for food that can be eaten with minimal preparation or without having to cook them. For more tips on preparing storm-ready food, click here.
3. First aid kit - This should contain the following, at the very least: Band-Aids, alcohol, antibiotics, antacids, anti-allergy meds, mosquito repellent, sunscreen and other prescription drugs that you may need.
4. Swiss Army knife - This is a handy tool for anyone who is not in the comfort of his/her home. With this, you do not have to bring a separate knife, can opener, bottle opener, screwdriver, and a pair of scissors.
5. Clothes - Getting wet in the rain will require you to change your clothes or else you'll get sick. Make it a point to bring thermal wear, including socks, to keep you warm during the rains.
6. Flashlight and batteries - This will help you get around during the night, especially if the power is out. Also try bringing candles and waterproof matches in case you run out of batteries.
7. Toiletries - This is particularly important for women and children. Aside from the usual soap, toothpaste and tissue paper, bring a lot of sanitary napkins and diapers.
8. Large garbage bags - This is where you can place all of your items instead of bringing smaller bags. Bring extra ones for trash and for emergency situations.
9. Umbrella - If you're stuck in your rooftop or any open ground, this will shield you from the rain.
10. Fully-charged mobile phone - This is a very useful tool in asking for help from the media and the authorities, although network problems may occur during heavy rains.
11. Whistle - This is effective in calling attention to yourself, making it easier for rescuers to find you. If you don't have one, just bring anything that can create a lot of noise.
12. Battery-powered radio - Listening to the news will give you updates on floods and rescue operations, and will help you find safe ground. Make sure you bring a lot of batteries.
13. Cash - You'll never know when you'll get access to a commercial establishment, so it's best to keep a few bucks with you.
Remember these contact numbers in case of emergencies.
1. Philippine Coast Guard - 527-8481 local 6290 and 6292; 328-1098
2. Philippine National Red Cross - 527-0000
3. National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council - 911-1406 and 912-2665
4. Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) - 16211, 0920-9716211 (Smart), 0917-5516211 (Globe).
5. Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) - 136 (hotline), 882-4154 to 74 (trunk line), 0917-561-8711 (duty officer)