What to Do Before, During, and After a Flood?

Due to climate change, extreme weather events such as heavy rain and cyclones occur in the Philippines. Flooding is also one of the major challenges in the country, affecting both rural and urban areas. 

Floods in the Philippines cause many fatalities, loss of livelihoods, and destruction of infrastructure. To help you, we will discuss what a flood is and what you can do before and after the flood to save yourself. Take a look!

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What Is the Flood?

During the rainy season, when the drainage system is filled with enough water and has no space for excessive water, a flood occurs. At this time, water overflows the drainage system and enters the surrounding lands, causing a flood. It covers anything from a few inches to a few feet. Floods in the Philippines can be dangerous for communities and animals as they can last for days, weeks, or sometimes even longer.

The Philippines has many rivers, lakes, and streams. However, the uneven distribution of rainfall overflows all these water bodies in the country, and an excessive abundance of water spells trouble in some areas. Let’s find out what you can do at times of flood in your area!

Related articles: What to Do Before, During, and After a Typhoon

How to Deal with Power Outages in Rainy Season Philippines?

What to Do Before, During, and After an Earthquake?

What Are the Biggest Causes of Floods?

here are some of the common causes of floods in the Philippines:

Prolonged rainfall: When it rains for a long time without stopping, the water level in rivers, canals, and lakes starts to rise. Once the drainage system is filled, extra water overflows the rivers or lakes, leading to flooding. 

Alt name: Prolonged rainfall causes flood

High coastal water due to storms: Powerful storms, especially typhoons and strong winds raise the sea level quickly. This pushes a lot of coastal water onto the nearby land areas, which causes flooding and damages infrastructure. 

Dams breaking: Dams are structures built to hold back large amounts of water, creating reservoirs. If a dam breaks or fails, a huge volume of water is suddenly released downstream. This sudden release can cause rapid and severe flooding in the areas below the dam.

Urbanization: Another major cause of floods in the Philippines is urbanization in cities like Manila, which leads to poorly maintained drainage systems. A blocked drainage system causes water to accumulate quickly during heavy rains, causing floods. 

In addition, the Philippine's different geography can cause floods during rainfall. For example, areas located near river banks or oceans are often at risk of floods. Also, big cities with huge road networks, high-rise buildings, and highways are at risk of floods. 

What to Do Before a Flood?

With advancements in technology, local authorities have started warning people about flood-like situations in advance. With the help of high-tech tools and satellites, the weather department alerts people on time about flood-like situations in your area. So, to prepare for a flood, you should keep in mind the following things: 

Be alert

  • Stay in touch with your local authorities via social media, news, or calls to learn about the current situation in your area. 
  • Be up to date with the latest flood or rainfall news. 
  • Monitor local weather and follow given instructions for evacuation or travel. 
  • Make sure your house’s drainage system is clean and not covered with leaves, garbage, or other debris.
  • Conduct a practice drill with your family to prepare everyone for evacuation if needed. 
  • Don’t forget to talk to your insurance provider about the damage risk and steps you can take to protect your property. 
  • Check windows carefully for cracks or gaps. Seal the basement and ground-level windows or doors with sealant. 

Assemble disaster supplies

  • Buy or make an emergency medicine kit and keep it stocked.
  • Get copies of personal documents such as identification, insurance policies, bank account records, and emergency contact information in a waterproof bag.
  • Buy flashlights with extra batteries to use in emergency situations.
  • Make sure you have at least a 7-day supply of non-perishable food items, such as canned goods, dry mixes, packed juices, etc., that require zero refrigeration or cooking.
  • Make a list of family and emergency contacts and save them on your phone or write them in a diary.
  • Don’t forget feminine hygiene products such as sanitary napkins, soap, toothpaste, and other personal care items. 
  • If you have a toddler at home, then stock baby formula, diapers, bottles, and any necessary items for them.
  • Get a local map to know the alternative route in case you need evacuation. 

Be prepared to evacuate

  • Keep your valuables in waterproof containers.
  • If time allows, move furniture and other important items to the upper floors of your home.
  • Turn off all the electric switches and gas. 
  • Follow the route instructed by local authorities for evacuation. 

What to Do During a Flood?

Now, when a flood hits your area, here are the things that you should keep in mind:

  • Keep listening to the radio, TV, or the internet for emergency instructions and evacuation orders.
  • Be ready to turn off utilities completely if asked to do so.
  • If you face flash flooding, then don’t wait for instructions; immediately leave for safe place with your family. 
  • Switch off the main switch before the waters get too high in your building.
  • Avoid moving through flood water, and if necessary, use a stick to check the firmness of the ground and the depth of the water. 
  • Make sure you don’t drive in flood water as it can get swept away quickly.
  • Be careful of downed electrical pipes. 
  • If your vehicle stalls in a flood, abandon it and move to higher ground.
  • Always follow every instruction given by the local authorities. 
  • Keep yourself and your family safe on high ground without flood. 

What to Do After a Flood?

When the water level is normal and the situation is controlled, everyone rushes to their home. But wait, don’t take any steps in a hurry. Here are a few things that you should focus on after a flood:

  • Wait for the instructions to return home from local authorities. Do not return until you are advised to do so.
  • Keep minimum contact with contaminated flood water.
  • Do not use anything that could be contaminated.
  • Ensure you discard food items that are rotten or in contact with flood water. 
  • Avoid using any appliances such as machines, heaters, pressure, or sewage systems until electrical components are dry and inspected by a qualified electrician.
  • Use battery-powered lighting, as any flammable material may be in your home. 
  • Check the house or building completely and report any broken utility wire to the appropriate authorities.
  • Examine walls, floors, doors, windows, and ceilings for risk of collapsing.
  • Watch out for animals that might have entered your house with the floodwaters. Also, make sure your interior is free from flies or other insects.
  • Open all windows and doors to remove foul odors or escaping gas.
  • Spray insect repellent in your rooms to avoid any insect-borne diseases.
  • Take photos of damage in your home to claim for insurance. 

Is It Necessary to Buy a Portable Power Station in Case?

A portable power station is useful for emergencies like floods. You can use it to charge your phone and other electronics you need. One of the best portable power station options is a solar power station. Here are some of the best solar options that are useful in flood-like situations in the Philippines:

BLUETTI EB55 Portable Power Station

The compact and lightweight design of the BLUETTI EB55 portable power station makes it best for campervans and small houses. You can easily carry it with you while moving to a safe place during floods. With a capacity of 537Wh and a built-in 700W (surge 1400W) strong inverter, EB55 can run most of your essentials, such as a flashlight, mobile phone, electric stoves, radios, and more. 

Alt name: BLUETTI EB55 portable solar power station 

It has multiple DC and AC outputs that can charge multiple devices simultaneously. It also has one piece of wireless charging. 

BLUETTI AC180 Solar Portable Power Station

Another portable power station is the BLUETTI AC180. It is specially designed for indoor and outdoor use. This solar power station has a capacity of 1,152Wh and a continuous output of 1,800W. It also features a super-fast charging speed that can charge various devices at once. 

Also, for remote control and real-time monitoring, there is a BLUETTI App that you can use on your phone. This solar power station of BLUETTI has a Power Lifting Mode that delivers 2,700W output to run high-powered devices effortlessly. 

These portable power stations can be used in emergency situations and at home. They are best for covering power needs during power cuts, at night, or when traveling. 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this flood preparedness guide helps you prepare for flood-like situations in your area.  Because floods hit the Philippines during prolonged rainfall, it’s important to be prepared to minimize the damage. Also, it helps you keep your family safe while minimizing the property damage. Stay informed, stay safe!