Living in a calamity-prone country like the Philippines has never been easy. As a young girl, I have been a witness of deaths among fellow Filipinos who lived just islands or towns away from me, because of some super typhoon, high-intensity earthquake, landslide, fire, etc. I could still remember the long weeks we spent without water and electricity in 2009, and how we were beginning to be scared about running short on our food supply during the Typhoon Ondoy. In Batangas, a city just south of our place, a number of high-intensity earthquakes destroyed properties and caused multiple injuries just this year. And of course, who could ever forget the destruction caused by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, which was believed to be the most destructive typhoon that ever crossed the country, killing about 7,000 people, mostly by drowning. No matter what kind of calamity is in front of us, the call for emergency preparedness has never been more relevant, especially to me at this time, being a nanay (mother) who works away from home.
I am truly convinced that with proper preparation, we could prevent causing significant damages in times of physical calamities, even up to loss of lives. Responding to the many counsels we received regarding emergency preparation programs, my little family has decided to do the following things to prepare for our needs during the rainy days (literally and figuratively speaking 😊), which you may want to think about doing in your own families too:
My husband Yuli and I took some time and money to invest in our 72-hour kits at home and office. I prepared a camping bag for us and a separate bag for our son Omer, filled with immediate things we will need in any kind of calamity, and that includes some toys for our son because, thinking about the worst case, we may need to evacuate to a public and a child-unfriendly place. In my office, I also prepared a separate floating bag filled with basic food and wound treatment tools, and hope that I may never use them in the future.
I prepared a list of things we included in our 72-hour kit, which you may want to consider including in yours. This list can be useful especially if you have kids. To download your free copy of this list, click here.
Besides our 72-hour emergency kits, we are also working on having a long-term food storage plan. This plan includes storing food and basic commodity for our family for worth a few weeks to up to a year. In our house, besides our flowing water, we store water in containers good for a week or two, in case we run out of flowing water. We also make sure that we have stored rice for 2-4 weeks, since my boys could not live a day without it. 🙂 Once we move to our new house in a few weeks, I am thinking of planting vegetables which could be our continuous source throughout the year.
Yuli and I make sure that part of our income goes to emergency fund, and even surer that it is only spent in times of emergency, and not when malls are on Sale. 🙂 The amount that goes to the fund is something we agreed upon. Another option would be to invest on medical insurances or other insurance plans. Since we are both employees, we are fortunate enough to have medical insurances from both our companies, including accidental death benefits, and that adds valuable security and protection for any of us in case something went wrong.
Evacuation plans are commonly known in offices where employees could be stuck during an emergency. I have participated in a number of fire and earthquake drills conducted in the office each year to know what to do and where to go during either calamity. We could adapt this same practice to our family. Although we have not tried conducting a fire or earthquake drill with our 5-year-old son yet, we have discussed the issue with his nanny and have given her instructions on where we should all meet in case a calamity broke, and Yuli and I were not at home. I think this is a very important thing to discuss with the family, and that all the kids should be made aware of what they should do, where to go, and who to call during these untoward incidences.
These are some of the things my family is trying to do to be better prepared for the worst. Can you think of anything else to add? Shoot me an email or comment below.