Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
How to Prepare for a Natural Disaster - go!
Shopping & Lifestyle

How to Prepare for a Natural Disaster

With the state of each new calamity proving worse than the last, it’s important to learn the basics of disaster preparedness

The Philippines’ location and its being a biodiverse archipelago are just some of the things that make it a beautiful country. It’s for these reasons, too, that it is susceptible to natural disasters that are only made worse, slowly but surely, by global warming. 

In the past two years alone, Filipinos have dealt with the wrath of nature: the unexpected eruption of the Taal Volcano, a series of earthquakes and typhoons (Odette being the most recent). These events have greatly affected millions.

Given that disasters can strike at any time, disaster preparedness is key. Ahead, a guide to catch you up on the basics.

Disaster Preparedness 101: Before the Disaster

Take note of emergency hotlines

Keep important emergency contacts at the ready, making accessible to you and your family the contact numbers you can input into your phone directories along with physical copies you can tack up on your fridge or file away in communal areas of the house. Visit the Philippine government’s website for a list of emergency hotlines.

If you anticipate that you will require assistance, these emergency services should be able to extend aid.

Locate the nearest evacuation centers

Find out the location of the evacuation centers nearest you. Just as well, look into your city’s emergency protocols to see if there are designated safe zones in your area.

Conduct a home inspection

Assess your space to find any potential and existing hazards inside and outside your house. If, for example, a big storm is reported to arrive in a few days, checking your roof for leaks and trimming the branches of trees in close proximity to your home and any powerlines surrounding it will help you stay safe at home.

Prepare an emergency kit

In the worst-case scenario that someone gets injured or that you need to evacuate, keeping a backpack already loaded with the essentials will make things easier. Prepare spare clothes, cash, food, water and a first aid kit.

Brush up on the different alert systems

Unfortunately, a number of people end up underestimating the impact of a natural disaster (and this failure to prepare ultimately can catch people off guard). Being aware of the severity of an upcoming disaster will help better inform your plan of action accordingly. Here’s what you need to know:

Typhoon Signal Warnings

Signal No. 1

Winds: 30–60 KPH

Wave height: 1.25–4m

Signal No. 2

Winds: 61–120 KPH

Wave height: 4.1–14m

Signal No. 3

Winds: 121–170 KPH

Wave height: > 14m

Signal No. 4

Winds: 171–200 KPH

Wave height: more than 14m
Signal No. 5

Winds: more than 200 KPH

Wave height: more than 14m
Volcanic Monitoring Levels

Alert Level 1

Low to moderate shaking

Alert Level 2

Increased shaking and gas emission

Alert Level 3

Ashfall and summit activity

Alert Level 4

Intense shaking and frequent ash explosions

Alert Level 5

Magmatic levels of eruption

Earthquake Intensity Levels
Intensity Scale 1

Felt by people under specific circumstances

Intensity Scale 2

Felt by people while at rest indoors

Intensity Scale 3

Felt by people in upper building floors
Intensity Scale 4

Felt by some people indoors and outdoors

Intensity Scale 5

Can wake people who are sleeping

Intensity Scale 6

Causes fear and imbalance in people

Intensity Scale 7

Causes difficulty in standing on upper floors

Intensity Scale 8 

Difficult to stand indoors and outdoors

Intensity Scale 9 

Buildings are completely damaged

Intensity Scale 10 

Landslides and total damage to all structures

During the Disaster

Remain in your designated safe zone until further notice

Regardless of what natural disaster it might be, do not leave your safe zone until officials say otherwise. Doing so may expose you to harm that could potentially be a matter of life and death.

Stay up-to-date with the news

Tune in to the news to gather real-time information on what’s happening outside your home and around you. Listening to the radio or connecting to a GoWiFI network at your evacuation center will allow you to assess the situation and prepare for anything else that might arise.

After the Disaster

Attend to your loved ones and check for any injuries

Carefully check if any family member has sustained injuries such as cuts, fractures or head trauma. Use an emergency kit to help dress basic wounds and call an ambulance for more serious injuries.

Secure all your valuables

After the disaster hits, make sure you secure all your valuables. Having your phone and some cash on hand will make it easier for you to contact loved ones and purchase supplies in case ATMs are unavailable.

Get in touch with your insurance providers

Contact your insurance providers immediately if your home or other notable belongings were damaged during the disaster. Doing so will help you recover from any financial losses you’ve incurred.

Did you know? Globe’s sustainability efforts are aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), aiming to improve lives. By establishing four sustainability pillars: Digital nation, Care for People, Care for the environment and Positive Societal Impact, Globe is working on paving the way for a better future. To learn more about how you can contribute, follow the Globe Bridging Communities page.

Art Matthew Fetalver

Vibe check! How does this make you feel?