** The pictures of the forcasted paths of Pablo are from ABS-CBN and Inquirer.
Cebu was getting ready for huge storm Pablo, international name Bapho, that was said to be stronger than 1990's Ruping. Ruping has left Cebu devastated with no water and electricity for more than a month. It also came around Christmas time. I was very young then to remember how it affected our Christmas. The elder adults said it was the loneliest. With Pablo, we were afraid how badly it would affect us. I was mostly afraid of landslide because I live in a valley. The first picture in this post is the forecasted track of Pablo as of December 2.
The day before the forecasted landfall (December 4), Ayala mall ran out of flashlights, emergency lights, and batteries. Parkmall ran out of eggs at the grocery. We were panic buying.
On the feared day of December 4, classes were suspended. Work was also suspended starting 2pm. However, the day finished and no typhoon came. The second picture is the forecasted track of Pablo as of December 4. We were fortunate that Pablo changed course while it was on its way to Cebu. Some say it was the intercession of San Pedro Calungsod that diverted the typhoon's path. After all, we just celebrated his Thanksgiving Mass here last weekend. We have only experienced rain and strong wind not the extreme strength of the typhoon. Thank God! I pray for our kababayan who experienced the worst. May they be kept safe too.
This experience made me realize how unprepared we are in cases of emergency. We never valued the drills until at the moment of difficulty. It is always better to be over-prepared than be under-prepared and be caught surprised. Disaster management is very important.
What needs to be stored in case of emergency?
- First Aid kit. I keep a first aid kit in my car too.
- Water-resistant boots
- Sacks of land to reroute flood water. In our case, we use this to protect the cars from flood water.
- Emergency light, flashlight
- Candles. Better get the candles inside glasses like the vigil candle to keep away from the danger of fire.
What needs to be done in case of emergency?
- Fix leaks of roof and ceiling.
- Store water in drums.
- Make sure you have enough drinking water for a week.
- Make sure you have enough food to last for a week.
- Make sure you have enough gas for cooking.
- Always keep your surroundings clean. It will backfire on you when they're washed away by flood.
- Store emergency numbers in your phone. Just dial, 911.
- Cebu City Police: 116
- Cebu City Fire Department: 160
- Cebu Fil-Chinese Volunteer Fire Brigade: (032) 254 0200, (032) 254 0300, +63 918 909 9785
- Mandaue City, Cebu Fire Department: (032) 344 4747, (032) 344 3364
- Talamban, Cebu Fire Department: (032) 344 9200
- Talisay City, Cebu Fire Department: (032) 272 8277
- Minglanilla, Cebu Fire Department: (032) 273 2830
- Argao, Cebu Fire Department: (032) 367 7680
- ERUF (Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation): 161, (032) 233 9300
- Have battery-operated transistor radio ready so you can monitor news and weather conditions.
- Brief your nannies what to do in case of emergency and you are not around. You need to do this especially because they are the ones left with your children.
- If your children, nephews, nieces are big enough to understand, teach them basic to-dos in case of emergency.
- Always pay your insurance - life, house, car - on time.