It’s been a day since Typhoon Glenda (international name: Rammasun) left the Philippine area of responsibility. Up to now, everything’s not yet back to normal, with a lot of places still without electricity, some without water even.
I remembered Tuesday night, when my family and I prepared ourselves for the storm. Since we lived in a low-lying area in Pasig (beside Floodway), we anticipated flooding. When I heard that it packed winds comparable to Milenyo, which hit the country way back 2006, we also secured parts of the house that may be affected, most especially the roof and other things that may be sent flying about by the strong winds.
Wednesday came. We moved all the important things to a higher part of the house, tied furniture left in the main house (we live in a bungalow) that may float when it floods. My parents made a plan on how to go about when we had to move to the second floor of our former sari-sari store (an annexed part of our house). My daughter and I (since I am pregnant) will have to go up first when the water rises. Food, water, and clothes — good enough for about 3 to 5 days — will also be brought there. We’ll have makeshift beds from cots and sleeping bags that we have. We’ll also have flashlights, candles, a TV, and radio with us, too.
Throughout the morning, the dam at Floodway was ringing the alarm. The floodwater at the street rose to about 5 inches at about 10 AM, which was my parents’s signal for us to start moving to the second floor. Good thing, though, that the water did not enter our house.
The wind howling like crazy scared us, especially my daughter. I was thinking then that we were lucky that we had no big trees in the vicinity, just those that easily bend and sway with the wind. The thought of metal sheets flying by and electricity posts that might fall kept us on our toes, though.
Of course, the one thing that sucked that day was the power outage that started since 5 AM. But at least we had phones that had TV so we were still up-to-date with the news. We just had to use them at different times so as not to drain the batteries.
A little bit after noon, the rains were subsiding and the wind got less strong. By 2 PM, we saw people and vehicles on the streets. Some were already clearing up the front of their houses. We got to relax and eat lunch. By around 4 PM, my daughter and I went down to the main house. Everyone was chilling out, despite the fact that we had to contend with not having electricity yet (During that time, we kept calling the Meralco hotline, but all we got was the automated response, “Sorry, all circuits are busy now.”).
By 8 PM, our area had the electricity back. That was a sigh of relief — I thought hubby and I wouldn’t sleep because we needed to fan our daughter throughout the night. Anyways, everything at home slowly got back to normal that time onwards. Still, we’re on our guard just in case Tropical Storm Henry (international name: Matmo) enhances the monsoon and bring rains again in Metro Manila.
Despite the calamity that Glenda brought to many places in the country, I’m glad that many people were prepared for it. It helps that nowadays, we can lean on to many other things besides TV and radio. Social media was a big help in keeping us alert with the news. And of course, technology.
My hubby’s and brother’s TV phones gave us constant updates on what was happening outside. It also helped that, a few days before Glenda made landfall, PAGASA’s Twitter and Facebook accounts always made posts about the weather. Project NOAH‘s website was also helpful in telling me further weather updates (I also follow Mahar Lagmay, the one in charge of Project NOAH, on Twitter).
Infographics about rainfall warnings were also very helpful. Since Habagat, I’ve been keeping this in mind:
PAGASA Rainfall Warning System
Of course, we can’t discount the power of prayer. During these times, besides being physically and mentally prepared, we also have to lean on God’s grace to keep us away from harm.
As of this writing, the sky is a bit cloudy, though the weather is better than the past few days. But Tropical Storm Henry is on its way and the rainy season will surely bring in more bad weather. Let’s just keep ourselves prepared in every way.
I hope everyone reading this post is now A-okay (albeit the succeeding reports of rotating brownouts) after Typhoon Glenda. :)