WHEN typhoons occur, one of the most affected are our electric power lines, poles and other components of our electrical system. Trees and thick foliage when battered by strong winds and rains sometimes result into short circuit of electric lines if not cutting them.
Poles, be they made of wood or concrete and which holds these power lines, are sometimes toppled and result into the loss of electricity in some communities or when damage is in large scale, affect some towns or even provinces.
Ironically, electricity is very much needed during calamities because without it, there can be no adequate lights or medical equipment working in hospitals, no ample lightings in disaster command centers, among households, government offices, evacuation centers and other infrastructures vital during the onslaught of destructive weather occurrences.
Communication facilities such as cellsites, radio repeaters, TV and radio stations are likewise rendered inutile without electricity. Although they may rely on electricity generator sets, the amount of electricity produced by the latter are sometimes inadequate and such electricity generation costly.
In my younger years at school and if my memory still serves me right, my teacher in social studies told us her students on the basic needs of man. Food, shelter and clothing are the only necessities we need to live. As long as these three are present, life may be full.
As years passed by, we may now include among the three, electricity. Since its household and practical use, man had become independent of electricity. With the advancements of technology in the world, we became more reliant on electricity since almost all of appliances, gadgets, equipment in homes and workplaces use electricity for them to run. Even the morbid electric chair won't be such without electricity.
I can still recall then when television sets are still quite scarce among households, we are indeed happy and contented with the lowly incandescent bulb lighting our sala and other parts of our residence including our terrace where we spent our free time sharing stories as our form of entertainment.
In anticipation of the effects of the Typhoon "Ompong", electric cooperatives and other electric power distribution utilities in Central Luzon prepared for the worst. Rolls of wires, stocks of poles, spare transformers were prepared prior to the entry of the typhoon in the Philippine Area of Responsibility. Engineers and linemen were alerted that even the off-duty personnel readiness was enjoined. Utility trucks and vehicles were made on stand-by should strong winds batter the region.
Power utilities are like soldiers and policemen. They have to be there even if not needed yet but while in anticipation of something. They have to be always ready for anything that might happen especially what they are doing is public service regardless of the weather.
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