How to prepare for super typhoon Yolanda

posted on: Thursday, November 7, 2013

Lifestyle Geek

Super typhoon Yolanda, with winds up to 250 kilometers per hour, has entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) as of 12 midnight of Nov. 7, 2013, according to the country’s weather bureau.

Satellite Image of typhoon “Haiyan” as of November 6, 2013 4:30 PM (Image courtesy of PAG-ASA)

Here’s what you can do to prepare for super typhoon Yolanda.

This advisory is from the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC-OCD) and Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Management – Cebu Province encourages us to prepare a disaster kit just like this. It is stated in YOYO 72 that “You’re On Your Own for the first 72 hours.” (Image courtesy of )

Safety Guidelines During Typhoons

  1. Stay indoors and keep calm.
  2. Monitor TV and radio reports.
  3. Secure your home.
  4. Trim trees near dwellings.
  5. Keep roads clear for emergency vehicles.
  6. If your house is in a flood-prone or coastal area, go to the nearest designated evacuation center.
  7. Do not go out of the sea if you are living along the coastal area.
  8. Have a flashlight and radio handy, with fresh batteries. Don’t forget to prepare candles or kerosene lamps in case you will be out of batteries.
  9. Stock up food, potable water, kerosene, batteries, first-aid and medical supplies.
  10. In case of flooding, turn off the main sources of electricity, gas and water in your home.
  11. Charge your cellphone batteries and powerbanks to the full for communication purposes.
  12. Be judicious in making phone calls so as to conserve battery power. If possible, use text messaging only because it uses less power on your battery.
  13. Keep your cellphone dry by wrapping it in plastic or covering it in waterproof cases.
  14. Stack furniture above the expected flood level. Keep appliances, valuables, chemicals, toxic substances and garbage beyond the reach of flood waters.
  15. Avoid low-lying areas, riverbanks, creeks and coastal areas, slopes, cliffs and foothills. Rains can trigger landslides, rockslides or mudslides.
  16. Avoid wading through flooded areas. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.
  17. Do not operate any electrical equipment during a flood.
  18. Do not use gas or electrical appliances that have been flooded.

Here’s some tips for local government units (LGUs) from Flor Gaviola, administrative officer of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) in region 7 .


1. Aim for zero casualty and undertake pre-emptive evacuations.

2. Ensure sustainability of services in Evacuation Center (water, sanitation and health or WASH, health, food, security, etc.) and identify alternate evacuation centers for longer utilization.

3. Local Government Units/Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council

  • Assert leadership role
  • Conduct information drive to emphasize responsibility and consequence of action
  • Get children and elderly out of harm if residents refuse to leave
  • Use of local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management  fund to sustain disaster operations

4. Consolidate and preposition assets and equipment/activate local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management rescue teams

  • Make sure there are adequate and strategically located resources (use maps)

5. Improvise/use indigenous resources (tire interior as floater, bamboo raft, etc.)

6. Designate contact persons and activate Operations Center.

7. Monitor weather bulletins, rainfall, wind speed, water level, etc.

8. Have back-up provisions for: communication, power, mobility, delivery of services – water, food, clothing, medicines)

  • Emphasis should be on proactive actions – evacuation rather than rescue.
  • Aim for zero casualty.