UPDATES [29 Sept 2009, 10:58 AM]:
1.Yesterday afternoon, I received word that Feng and family are safe. I was told they were trapped on their second floor but managed to get on the roof, and rescued later on. Meanwhile, I kept calling Annamanila’s phone. I was only able to get through late last night. I was so happy when her phone finally rang!!!! Apparently, her one-storey house was submerged in 8-feet flood. They had to move in to a neighbor’s home with a second floor. She, apo Andeng and her daughter-in-law were evacuated to a safer place on Sunday night.
Now they are safe. Next step is to help them and the others who lost a lot to the flood.
2. The Disaster Kit list has been updated. New additions in bold. Keep the suggestions coming!
Last night, I couldn’t sleep. My thoughts kept turning to friends who live in Pasig from whom I have not heard yet. Annamanila, FengBrum, I hope you and your family are well. I will keep praying until I get word from you. 🙁
One realization (of the many) I got out of the Ondoy tragedy is that my family was not ready for a disaster.
As I watched the water rise down the street Saturday morning, I began to worry a bit. I live in a village that never floods. This is the first time I was actually worried of water getting into our home. Down the street, it was knee-deep already. I saw vehicles being evacuated out of the garage that was right smack in the middle of the flooded area.
At about mid-day, I lost internet and cable connections. Tap water was also cut off. Thankfully, our area is one of the few places in Metro Manila that did not get any power interruption. But the rain continued to rage.
At around 3 PM, I get a call from my husband – he was stranded at North Luzon Expressway (NLEX). Traffic was at stand-still. ( He got out of NLEX past 9 PM, and got home at around 12 midnight. He was wet, hungry, tired, but thankful and glad he got home in one piece.)
When cable TV signals finally came back on late in the afternoon, I saw more clearly the rampage caused by Ondoy. Flooded streets all over. News reports and tweets from my social networking sites were about families trapped and needing rescue, people stranded on the road for hours.
What was going on? Areas that never flooded were chest-deep in water! Homes that never had to deal with floods were submerged.
I began thinking fast-forward – the what-ifs. What if we get flooded and trapped? What if we get caught without water, food? What happens to my kids? And the morbid thoughts, fight hard as I may want to, come creeping into my mind: “is your family protected in the event of your death?“. Are we ready for the worst?
I realized now how unprepared my family was for a disaster like this. I don’t even wan’t to talk on a national scale. Obviously, the government was caught unprepared too. But on my own level, I could have done what I could – just in case.
So yesterday, I started completing my disaster kit. Here are what I’m putting together:
emergency stash of Nate’s milk and medications
canned goods, can opener
instant noodles (at worst, they can be eaten off the container even without hot water – good carb source)
crackers, chocolate bars
first aid kit
wet towels, isopropyl alcohol for sanitation
flashlight and spare batteries
rechargeable emergency lights
matches in a water-proof container or lighter
bag with change of clothes for each family member
Food and water should be good to last for 3 days.
I am going to keep these in an accessible area upstairs. In addition, I am keeping all important documents in a water-proof ziploc bag.
I will also make sure that:
cellphones and gadgets are always charged optimally;
the car always is always at least half-tankful! (My hub’s nasty habit of last-minute filling is now a big no-no);
I have the emergency numbers of NDCC, MMDA, PNRC, nearest police station in my cell’s directory
I will post the second part when I have completed our disaster kit. Did I miss anything?
Let us all continue to pray for the victims, those who are still waiting to be rescued or brought food. And let’s do our share to help. Here is a spreadsheet of places where we can bring our donations.
Now is the right time to rise and show the indomitable Filipino spirit.