IN the evening of Dec. 16, 2021, typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) made its presence known as it pummelled through Metro Cebu in what would be the strongest typhoon that hit the area since Typhoon Ruping (International name: Mike) in 1990, barring 2013’s Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), of course.
According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), in a post by the Philippine News Agency around 1 a.m. on Dec. 17, 2021, Odette was located in the town of Carcar City, Cebu “with maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers per hour near the center, and gustiness of up to 240 kph.”
As Cebuanos rebuild what’s left of their homes, here are some timely reminders for everyone to slowly get back up on their feet.
Replenish food and water
If you have stored enough food and water to last a week or two, it is better to stay home. If you need to purchase food and drinking water, go out on runs. Also, check the food inside your fridge. Some might spoil if left inside without electricity.
Offer help and shelter for friends and loved ones
Only after you’ve checked your family and property’s safety, and deem that you have the supplies and logistical bandwidth to accept more people into your home, try to check on your relatives or loved ones and offer help. Some people’s homes have been destroyed and have become inhabitable for the time being.
Do not immediately turn on your electricity
Water may have seeped in some power outlets or appliances that need electricity. Thoroughly check that these are dry. Carefully check if wires are properly insulated.
Monitor weather updates regularly
As soon as electricity is back and you have access to the internet, check for local, national and international weather updates. This doesn’t only give you proper information for you to act upon but also gives you peace of mind.
Work on insurance
If you have property that is insured, take photos. Document the damage extensively, and consult with your insurance agent as soon as possible on what you need to do to file a claim. “Acts of Nature” are usually covered under policies.
Check inside and outside your home
Water leaking from the ceiling? Shards of glass from broken windows? Plants uprooted from the strong winds? Try to fix and arrange what you can several hours after the typhoon has left your area. Better to do this during the day. Goal: Make sure your shelter can handle some rain and wind if they come.