EditorialPrepare for the rains

Prepare for the rains

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With the onset of the La Nina phenomenon, rains are expected not just in Dumaguete and Negros Oriental but in many other parts of the country.

Images of the Feb. 7, 2009 flood may still lurk behind the minds of Dumaguetenos, especially those who had suffered considerable damage and inconvenience.

The question everyone is asking is, are we ready to face a similar, if not deadlier flood?

The City of Dumaguete has been constantly clearing drainage canals. In the Province, the operational readiness of the Negros Oriental Search & Rescue team has been strengthened. But should there be another big flood, how soon can these trained rescue teams reach us when we need them?

Perhaps the better answer would be to look at our personal state of preparedness. We can make the necessary preparations for a flood without having to rely on the government’s meager resources.

First of all, we need to determine what the potential hazards are around us. Surely, living right on a dry river bed or along the bank of a river is a sure invitation to trouble. People living in such areas should have moved out of there long ago.

Next, we need to ensure we have the right survival gear — food, water, warm clothes for at least three days, fuel for cooking, flashlights, radio sets batteries. Some might even want to have inflatable boats as part of their gear.

Third, we must know what to do when faced with such a dangerous situation. Like, never attempt to cross a flooded river. Watch out for falling branches, and live wire that could electrocute us once it comes in contact with water. Simple common sense reminders.

We may live in a disaster-prone area and when disaster strikes, there’s nothing we can really do to stop it. But we can mitigate the risks by adapting and taking the necessary precautions. As the adage goes, a drop of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

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