Hurricane Isaac

Florida’s gonna be in for a blow. Bad timing for the Republicans, and just bad all around for the people who live there. Here in the Philippines, we’ve had more tropical storms and hurricanes than you can shake a weather vane at, so trust me when I say, I know how you folks must feel over there.

Yeah, we get it bad.

But over the course of several years, civic minded folks here have taken to using Twitter both to organize rescues and what-not, AND to promote disaster preparedness. In that same vein, I thought some of these reminders might be of some use to you folks.

  • An average person needs about a gallon of drinking water per day.That’s about 3.5 liters. While waiting for Isaac to come, store away as much water as you can in gallon jugs or containers. If you think flooding might be a problem for your neighborhood, it’d be smart to lash the handles together, just so that they don’t get swept away. Also, empty gallon containers can be used as flotation devices in a pinch.
  • Again, if you think flooding will be a problem, you might as well keep some DIY water filter components handy. Empty soda liter bottles, box cutters, and cheesecloth are just some of the things you can set aside now in case you need them later. Great instructions for DIY water filters are available here and here.
  • Assemble a disaster kit. It should have a whistle, a flashlight with spare batteries, and a first-aid kit that should have a pair of scissors and some bandages. You never know when you’ll need to do some field dressings.
  • Food is absolutely essential, of course. Instant ramen would be great if you had access to cooking facilities. In the event of flooding, however, that might be a long shot. So, stock up on crackers and cookies stored in zip-loc bags.
  • A portable radio that runs on batteries is indispensable.
  • Charge all your electronics – especially your mobile phones.
  • Cash, identification documents – like passports, medical records, and such – clothes. Think of it as packing for a long trip to somewhere, except that instead of packing all of your stuff in suitcases, you might want to keep them in plastic garbage bags. Double bagging will help keep them dry. For cash and documents, a zip-loc bag would be the best solution.

That’s all I have, and I wish I could share more.

Good luck! And stay safe.

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