Rainy Season in the Philippines is now fast approaching and there are clear signs that the southwest monsoon is now moving across the West Philippine Sea that will affect most of Metro Manila. Thunderstorms and widespread rainfalls in Metro Manila signifies that the rainy and wet season is now here as as the summer season begins to wind down.
The Philippines is experiencing an average of 18-20 typhoons or tropical cyclones every wet season from May to October yearly, which means a threat to everyone's home and people's health.
La Niña Phenomenon
According the state weather bureau PAGASA, there's no sign of La Niña in the tropical nation this year. However heavy rainfalls across the country is still expected to bring hazards to people's health and home. But when La Niña starts off, the Philippines would face the threat of more typhoons, particularly in the last quarter of 2017.
Regardless if there will be a heavy rainfall or not, extensive preparation has to be done in order to prevent or at lest lessen the damage the rainy season could bring to everyone's home.
That said, here are some ways to prepare your home for the rainy season in the Philippines.
Check Roof and Gutters
Roof and Ceiling
House roofs are the most important when it comes to protecting the house from hazardous elements - including rain. This is also the part of the house that will cost a lot to repair depending on the materials that is used and the labor. Normally, Filipinos don't give too much attention to the roofing unless there's a big problem, and that can add up to the repair cost.
To avoid spending too much on the roofing, make sure to have it checked at least twice a year. Hiring someone to do the job is the most ideal option, but it can be done by the members of the household.
Make sure there's no leaks on the roof and ceiling of the house. Use strong adhesives to patch the nails on the roof. There are a handful of good quality adhesives in the hardware store. Most of the houses built in the Philippines are using metal roofs, so locating the leaks won't be that hard. The most common spot to check is the roof penetrations. Penetrations are places where pipes, vents, and mechanical supports pass through the metal roof. It's also worth noting that fixing any leaks coming from the roof before the rain comes is very important. To ensure everything on the roof is fixed hire a roofer to do the job.
Gutters are installed for the very purpose of funneling the water off the roof and away from the home. It also helps in protecting the house's foundation because too much water falling too close to the structure can erode the soil around it and will compromise the whole foundation of the structure.
Dysfunctional gutters could be a real threat when heavy rains poured in. Because it won't be able to funnel the water away from the home.
Make sure to clean clogged gutters or if there are leaks, make some repair. Don't wait for the rain to come before addressing the issue as it will be harder to repair during rain.
Clean Canals and Drain Lines
Keeping canals clean could get rid of any potential flooding in the area especially near the property because sometimes it only takes one clogged drainage to cause heavy flooding in the community. Most of the time, this part of the roadside is covered with blocks of cement. The best thing to do is to coordinate with the homeowner's association to have it cleaned before the wet season kicks in.
When it comes to the drain lines, catching the clogs earyly can prevent serious damage and expensive repairs especially in rainy season. It will also restore free flow to the waste water system, ensuring home is safe from sewer water.
Moreover, it can also stop bad odors that can go back up through the plumbing system. Cleaning drain lines can also prevent waste to rush up into the sinks. This task can't be done properly in rainy season, so better to start the preparation early.
Seal Windows and Doors
Not only the roof can be the access point for water going to the house, but also windows and doors. Strong rain with strong wind can bring water into the house of the windows and doors are not shutting properly. Newly installed windows and doors are exempted to this kind of problem. However, old ones should be inspected ahead of time.
Ensuring that windows and doors are functioning properly will ensure that the house is protected from outside elements heavy rain would bring. Using flood boards will block water from coming in through gaps between doors and frames more efficiently and will protect the home from potential flood. This can be found in DIY stores or the nearest hardware stores.
Owning a home costs a lot of money. The same thing as repairing it when get struck by a disaster. Getting a home insurance is one of the best ways to protect it and it also serves as an investment whatever may happen.
When getting a home insurance, make sure to include disasters and calamities in the package. Especially in the Philippines where there are lots of typhoons, getting a home insurance will protect not only the house itself but the homeowner because whatever happens, the insurance company could either pay the victim or restore the house.
As part of the rainy days home preparation, here are some of the most reliable home insurance companies in the Philippines:
1. Mapfree Insular
2. Malayan Insurance
3. BDO Home Insurance
These are some of the most reliable home insurance companies that offer comprehensive insurance products for home protection.
Prepare for Flooding
Electronic appliances are the most prone when it comes to flooding inside the home. Making few adjustments and placing home appliances off the floor will help in protecting them in case there's flood. To do this easier, prioritize electronic devices and appliances such as television, computers, laptops, and speakers. Place them in shelves as high as possible. For bigger appliances take something that will elevate them from the floor.
Worse comes to worst, the most important thing is still the lives of the household members. Find a higher place to settle if the situation is too dangerous to deal with.
Get Rid of Stagnant Waters
Stagnant waters are heaven for mosquitoes especially in wet season. Open containers can become home for mosquitoes to lay eggs. Once this happens, the risk of contracting dengue fever is higher.
According to the latest data, As of 20 August 2016, there were 101,401 suspected cases of dengue reported in 2016, including 422 deaths. So make sure to eliminate all stagnant water in all possible areas of the house. For containers with clean water, make sure to cover them all the time.
It may be odd to stockpile sandbags as part of the rainy days preparation, but this is vital when it comes to flood defense especially if a residential community is stiuated in a flood-prone area. Sandbags are not only useful when it comes to blocking flood due to heavy rains from entering the house, it's also useful in diverting water to different direction.
It's kind a hard to buy sandbags in the Philippines because hardware stores don't normally sell them, but can be easily made. For more information on how to make a sandbag, please follow this link
OTHER EMERGENCY TIPS
Aside from safety precautions to protect the home in rainy season, it is also important to think the safety of the members of the family. Here are some tips to keep the household members safe during monsoon season.
Medical and Emergency Kits
Having an emergency preparedness kit is as important as protecting the house. This is what most Filipinos miss when it comes to rainy days preparation. Make sure to have a box full of medicine to protect the household from health hazards during wet season. For better preparation, list down the most common illness during this season and buy medicine accordingly. To start off, here are the most common diseases when rainy season hits:
1. Dengue fever
5. Hepatitis A
7. Cold and Cough
9. Athlete’s Foot
Aside from medical supplies, make sure to keep a proper hygiene to prevent these diseases to infect the household.
Disaster or emergency kits can include flash light with extra baterries, AM radio transistor with extra batteries, ropes, plastic or garbage bags, extra clothing, or even cash.
Whatever tool that might help in times of emergency should be set aside and keep to a place where it can be located easily. These tools are not only important for keeping the household safe, it can also save lives when in the middle of a disaster.
List down the necessary things to be included in the emergency kit and make sure to complete them before the wet season strikes. This is not so common in the Filipino household but still very important to practice.
Rain Protection Clothes
During rainy season, students still go to schools and workers go their respective works. This makes them prone to getting wet and eventually catching diseases.
In order to prevent this, make sure to prepare protective clothing like raincoats and boot covers. This can be prepared ahead of time and doesn't need to be expensive.
These protective clothings can be bought to local supermarkets like SM, Shopwise, or Puregold. It can be ordered from Lazada and shipped for free. Whatever convenient ways, the important thing is to have these as part of rainy days preparation before the monsoon season starts. To begin with, here's a list of rain gear items to consider:
2. Raib hat
3. Rain pants
4. Rain boots
6. Plastic stretch wrap
7. Boot covers
These are the basic rain protective gears that can be bought in local supermarkets.
Battery Powered Lights and Candles
This can be part of the emergency kit, however there are LED lights that are powered by batteries that are not handy. But can be used in case the electricity goes out. Have this ready during rainy season with extra batteries. Again this can be purchased at a local supermarket or have it delivered by Lazada.
Mobile Phones and Extra Load
During rainy season the possibility of disasters to strike is always high, and having a stable communication can be the difference between life and death. During these times, communication devices like cellphones are crucial in asking for help. Make sure to have mobile phones on full battery and with spare loads so that in case of emergency, help can be one call or text away.
Another advantage is that it enables the user to contact his/her lovedones for some updates if the weather doesn't allow a personal visit.
Use cheap cellular phones
For emergency purposes, cheap cellular phones (Those that have no internet access or camera) are more than enough. One good advantage of having those types of phones is that they have longer battery life than of smartphones. They are also easy to use and very convinient to carry especially in an emergency situation.
Store food with long shelf life
During typhoon season, food prices are spiking due to the inconvenience bring by the monsoon. In this case, having food that will last for a long time will not only help in saving money, but also keep the family from hunger. Most preppers start out by having a list of food to stockpile in case of emergency - food that will last for a long time.
So what are the best food to keep in the pantry during these times? Here's the list of food that have a lengthy expiration dates and good for stashing:
1. Canned goods
3. Whole-wheat crackers
4. Bottled water
5. Dried Fruits
6. Powdered milk
7. Sugar, salt, and pepper
9. Fruits (Grapefruits, citrus ones)
10. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams
Another important reminder is to store healthy food as much as possible.
Prepare a list of Emergency Hotlines
The rainy season brings some of the most destructive weather conditions in the country and they all bring huge threat to both homes and its household members. And even with preparation tips mentioned above, it's still very important to keep a record of emergency hotlines. Part of the home preparation, here are the list of government agencies that are always ready to respond in case of emergencies:
National Disaster and Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) hotlines
• (02) 911-1406, (02) 912-2665, (02) 912-5668, (02) 911-1873
Office of the Civil Defense Regional Office Telephone Directory
• National Capital Region: (02) 913-2786
• Region I: (072) 607-6528, 700-4747
• Region II: (078) 844-1630
• Region III: (045) 455-1526
• Region IV-A: (049) 834-4244, 531-7279
• Region IV-B: (043) 723-4248
• Region V: (052) 481-1656
• Region VI: (033) 337-6671, 509-7971;
• Region VII: (032) 416-5025, 416-5025
• Region VIII: (053) 323-8453
• Region IX: (062) 215-3984
• Region X: (088) 857-3988, 875-3907
• Region XI: (082) 233-2022, 233-0611
• Region XII: (083) 552-9759; 553-2994
• Cordillera Administrative Region: (074) 304-2256
• CARAGA: (085) 815-6345, 342-8753, 341-8629
Philippine National Police (PNP) Hotline Patrol
• 911 or send TXT PNP to 2920
Bureau of Fire Protection (NCR)
• 911, (02) 729-5166, (02) 410-6319 (Regional Director, Information Desk)
Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA)
• 136, 882-0925 (flood control)
• Trunkline: (02) 882-4150-77 loc. 337 (rescue), 255 (Metrobase)
• Metrobase: 882-0860
Red Cross hotline
• 143, (02) 527-0000, (02) 527-8385 to 95
Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Hotline
• (02) 433-8526
Philippine Coast Guard
• (02) 527-3877, (02) 527-8481, 0917-724-3682 (globe), 0917-PCG-DOTC (globe)
• Trunkline: (02) 426-1468 to 79, local 124/125 (emergency);
• Text/call: 0905-313-4077 (globe)
• (02) 951-7119
• Disaster Response Unit: (632)931-81-01 to 07, local 426
• Earthquake text hotlines: For Globe and Touch Mobile users, text “IREPORTname/location/message” to 2327 or 09178902327. For Smart, Sun and Talk N’ Text users, text concerns to 09189122813.
For those who have internet access, feel free to check out the Twitter accounts of some local regions.
Local Government Units
• Manila Traffic Hotline – 527-3087; Twitter: @MTPB_Manila
• Cainta Traffic Hotline – 646-0044, (02) 248-1743 (hotline)
• Las Piñas Traffic – 874-5756, 874-3927, 874-5754, 874-5753
• Mandaluyong Hotline – 534-2993 (traffic); 533-2225 (Command Control Center); Twitter: @MandaluyongPIO
• Taguig Traffic – 838-4301 loc. 7112; Twitter: @ILoveTaguig1
• Marikina STOC – 646-1651, (02) 646-1633 (traffic); Twitter: @MarikinaPIO
• Pasig Traffic – 643-0000 (Command Control Center); 643-1111; Twitter: @PasigInfo
• Makati Public Safety Dept – 844-3146, 819-3270 to 71. Twitter: @MakatiTraffic
• Pasay – Twitter: @PasayPIO
• Parañaque – Twitter: @ILoveParanaque
• San Juan – Twitter: @sanjuancityncr
• Bacoor, Cavite – Twitter: @CityOfBacoor
• Valenzuela – Twitter: @ValenzuelaCity
• Navotas – Twitter: @Navotas_City
• Malabon – Twitter: @Malabon_City
While rainy season brings a good sense of vibe after a scorching summer season, protecting the home from elements of rain should not be forgotten because it will keep the family from disasters.