Tips on how to survive a super typhoon

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AS government agencies prepare for the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) issued survival tips that may help save lives and property.

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Before a typhoon, store adequate supply of food and clean water, especially foodstuff that need no cooking. Put flashlights, candles and battery-powered radios within easy reach. Charge the batteries of cell phones, examine the house and repair unstable parts; clean drains, downspouts, and gutters of debris. If your roof is damaged or worn, replace the covering with something that can handle higher wind speeds. Always be updated on the latest weather reports.

For rural areas, harvest crops that can already be harvested and secure domestic animals in a safe place. Fishermen should tie their boats in safe areas.

Should you need to evacuate, bring clothes, first aid kits, candles/flashlights, battery-powered radios, food and hygiene items.

Know where emergency shelters are set up.

During a storm, stay indoors and monitor the latest weather report. If safe drinking water is not available, boil water for at least 20 minutes and place in a covered container. Keep an eye on lighted candles or gas lamps.

Avoid wading in floodwaters to avoid getting electrocuted or contracting diseases. If you have to leave your home, close the windows and turn off the main power switch. Put important appliances to higher ground. Avoid roads and pathways leading to the rivers.

After a storm, if the house was destroyed, make sure that it is already safe and stable before you enter. Beware of dangerous animals like snakes that may have entered the house; watch out for live wires or outlets immersed in water. Report electrical cables and fallen electric posts to the authorities.

Do not let water accumulate in tires, cans or pots to avoid creating a favorable condition for mosquito breeding. Keep an eye on large trees—even healthy ones—that could damage your house if felled in a storm. Cut them if necessary.

If you live in a storm-prone area, nail down roof shingles or use adequate adhesive to keep them from blowing off in a violent wind. For roofs with shingles that are not the seal-down type, apply a little dab of roofing cement under each tab.

A lightning-protection system should offer an easy, direct path for the bolt to follow into the ground and thus prevent injury or damage. Grounding rods (at least two for a house) should be placed at opposite corners of the house.

Keep a list of telephone numbers of the local police department, fire department, family doctors, utility companies (water, gas and electricity), radio/television channels and the local Red Cross.

Keep all your important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in Ziploc bags or inside a waterproof container.

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