When a storm is imminent or already occurring in your area, it's time to put your plan into action. The first thing you want to do is pay attention to any storm or typhoon watches or warnings that have been issued for your location.
Safety Tips for Staying Indoors
You'll want to be able to receive all of the latest weather updates during the storm, which means you'll need more than one reliable source of weather information. We recommend the following:
- Listen to your weather Radio or check online frequently for weather updates and emergency information.
- Conserve heat and fuel, if necessary, by temporarily closing off heat to unused rooms.
- Eat regularly and drink plenty of water, but avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. Instead, drink warm, sweet beverages, or try soups or broths.
- If you use an electric generator, make sure you keep it outdoors ”“ never bring a generator indoors ”“ and connect appliances to it using only heavy-duty, outdoor-ready cords.
- If you experience a power failure, use battery-powered flashlights and lanterns instead of candles whenever possible.
- If you do use candles, never leave them unattended when lit.
- Wear warm clothing in multiple layers as needed.
- Monitor body temperature, both your own and your family members'. Because infants younger than a year old lose body heat more easily than adults, make sure they wear warm clothing and try to keep your home warm inside if you have an infant at home. If you cannot maintain a warm temperature inside your home, try to make alternative arrangements.
- For adults age 65 and over, maintaining body heat during severe cold can be a concern, thanks to their lower metabolism. Check the temperature in your home often during the storm, and check in frequently with older friends and neighbors to ensure they stay warm.
Safety Tips for Outdoors
When a storm or extreme cold threatens, you should avoid going outdoors unless absolutely necessary. In the event that you must, however, always dress warmly and return indoor as soon as possible. Don't skate!
- Wear multiple layers of clothing to stay warm, as well as a hat, scarf, mittens, a water-resistant jacket and boots.
- Make sure you stay as dry as possible, as water against the skin from wet clothing can chill the body quickly.
- If you need to de-ice or refuel your car, avoid getting gasoline or alcohol on your skin. These will cause your body to lose heat outdoors more quickly.
- Don't ignore shivering. If you shiver persistently while you're outdoors, it's a sign that you need to return inside.
- If don't have to do outdoor chores in the cold, wait until the storm passes and the outside temperature warms up.
Travel Safety Tips
If at all possible, avoid driving or skating when there's a storm, as hitting the roads can be extremely dangerous. If you must drive, keep the following tips in mind:
- Stay on main roads and highways, and stick to the flattest roads you can. Avoid hills and roads with sloping surfaces wherever possible.
- Drive only during daylight hours, and avoid driving alone if you can.
- Bring blankets with you to keep warm in case you become stranded. Also bring bottled water or warm beverages, to avoid becoming dehydrated.
- Let family members know where you're going and when you're expected to return.
- If the storm forces you to stop, pull off the highway and turn on your hazard lights. If you have a distress flag or sticker, hang it from your radio antenna or apply it to your window. Remain in your car, where rescuers are most likely to find you.
- If you're stranded for an extended period of time, run your engine for about 10 minutes every hour to stay warm. Open a window slightly for ventilation while the car is running, to prevent any carbon monoxide buildup. Remove any snow that builds up on your car's exhaust pipe.
- If you have to spend the night in your car, turn on the interior overhead light so rescuers or work crews can see you.
Know Your Terms
Depending on the severity and the expected duration of a storm, the PAGASA may issue one or more of the following:
- A weather advisory means that a significant storm or other hazardous weather is occurring, imminent and is an inconvenience.
- A storm watch is issued when significant weather ”“ such as heavy rain, strong winds or a combination of these ”“ is expected but not imminent for the watch area.
- Storm warnings are issued when a significant storm or hazardous weather is occurring, imminent or likely, and is a threat to life and property.
What to do after the storm
- Ensure you do the following after a severe storm:
- Check your home and property for damage.
- Keep clear of damaged buildings, powerlines and trees.
- Be aware of road hazards such as floodwater, debris and damaged roads or bridges.
- Do not drive through affected areas unless it is necessary.