For 6 straight years, the Philippines experienced a Top 10 costliest typhoon every year. It was capped by last year's ultra-devastating Yolanda which flattened several cities and towns. It was the news of the year in the country, as it somehow put Tacloban ironically in the world news map. Nobody virtually know about the city until it was virtually erased by Yolanda which was known as Haiyan internationally.
I really thought that this year, the Philippines somehow was sort of given a "free" year by nature. We were just 28 days before the new year then there is news about a brewing storm in the Pacific that could become Yolanda 2.0. The international code for this potential howler is Hagupit. It's a Filipino word that translated would mean whip. Is it gonna whip the Visayas? We got battered last year and we almost got "hayang" (sounds like Haiyan which means knocked down in Bisaya) and now we are gonna be whipped? Hopefully not or else I really want them to ban such "dangerous" names. They should name typhoons with less mean names like Malamig, Mahina, Mabagal, or even Mabango.
With the name itself, I really want to warn everyone that we should take this one seriously. For Leyte or Samar people if you can go to Cebu or even Manila, you better stay in those places for the weekend. If not then stay away from dangerous places like the coast or a denuded mountain. We cannot take these things for granted anymore. Queenie even ripped my hometown in Bohol a few days ago. Queenie was just a tropical depression, it wasn't even a typhoon.
Several people now have made their checklists as preparation. Here are some things you need to prepare for the coming typhoon that is often overlooked:
1. Load - You better have load. You can't call people unless you have it although there's also a risk that signal would be so bad in typhoon hit areas but nevertheless, load is important. You may even have load for data so that you can connect to the world wide web and see updates when power is down. Also know the emergency numbers in your place.
2. Charge the rechargeable - While there is power, you better charge the phones, power banks, emergency lamps, etc. Power will most likely be shut off so having your own light and cellphone power will go a long long way.
3. Prepare water - Faucet water is never a good idea especially during flood season. In some places like our subdivision, water is cut off when there is no electricity. Prioritise drinking water but if you can store water for bathing or washing, better!
4. No cook food - Sometimes cooking would not be possible so prepare food like bread, crackers, canned goods, and other non-cook items that will give you the energy to do post-typhoon activities.
5. Radio - battery powered radio will keep you up to date with news if internet and power are down. AM stations are full of news and updates.
Cebu Emergency Numbers
Preparing for a Super Typhoon