OCD R1 encourages the public to prepare for the rainy season

City of San Femando –  The Office of Civil Defense Region 1 has encouraged all stakeholders to intensify their preparedness for typhoon, flood and other hazards that may occur following the announcement of Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (PAGASA) regarding the onset of the rainy season.

According to PAGASA, the widespread rainfall during the past few days suggests new development in the climate system. Winds are already blowing from the South to Southwest direction although weak at times but will gradually become stronger.  Cloudy skies with scattered rains particularly in the afternoon are anticipated to continue in the coming days.

OCD R1 is closely monitoring the weather situation due to the possible development of La Niña favored in the second half of 2016 after the termination of the on-going El Niño. The last La Niña event in the Philippines was in 2012. Many parts of the country including Region 1 experienced massive flooding due to intense rains brought by the southwest monsoon (locally known as Habagat.

OCD R1 Regional Director  and Chairperson of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Melchito M. Castro  stressed out that preparedness and mitigation are the best defense of the community to counter the effects of any hazard towards achieving disaster resiliency.

To mitigate flooding, canals and other waterways should be cleared of garbage; the same to be done for river banks and seashores to avoid the occurrence of diseases. As reminders, households should know the flood warning system and evacuation plan of the community. Family members should be assigned specific instructions and responsibilities according to the evacuation plan. Each household should prepare an emergency disaster kit containing a transistorized radio, flashlight with spare batteries, emergency cooking equipment, candles, matches and first aid kit.

Furthermore, a stock of food requiring no or little cooking and refrigeration (good for at least 3 days) should be stored.

Houses should be inspected and fixed on any damages especially on the roofs, walls, windows and doors. Also, gutters and drain pipes need to be cleared of blockage to avoid the water to back up. Dead branches of trees specifically those positioned near a house should be cleared to avoid accidents. Moreover, piling of sandbags in lower areas of the house can be considered.#