Metro Manila is no stranger to high-rise residential units, and as strong typhoons loom over the country, residents all over the metro are advised to "prepare" for the possible effect of a storm - with flooding and brownouts being the most common culprits for home owners. However, despite of the many condominiums scattered all over the Manila, media does not seem to tackle condominium preparedness and condominium unit owners are left clueless on how to ready themselves for storms, especially the effect of wind.
Today, in my own preparation for the typhoon Glenda, I would like to share some points on preparedness to fellow condominium-dwelling Pinoys.
1. Keep the windows, or any opening than may let the violent winds in, closed. It would be wise to not open your doors to the hallway, too. You wouldn't want air from outside entering your unit as this may induce suction pressure and add to the risk of breaking glass windows.
2. Stay away from windows. In case they break. It would be better if you have draperies that could at least dampen the shattered glass flying towards you.
3. Stock up on provisions and supplies. Yeah, sure, you can buy from the nearest convenience store, as long as you're capable of climbing up to your unit at the 30th floor using your stairwell, should your elevator be dead.
4. Your patio/balcony items should be kept inside the unit. The storm is hazardous enough for passers-by below, and while they can survive the storm itself, falling debris from irresponsible unit owners may injure or kill them.
5. Observe seeping water. Especially if they may possibly reach your outlets (take openings for air conditioners with the outlet very close to the unit) and take measures to protect them. Leak from roof decks is also possible, so it might be wise to turn your circuit breaker off until you're sure your electrical conduits aren't invaded by water.
6. Know where the fire exit is. I mean, you should have known this from Day 1 of living in your unit.
7. Store water. If you have a bathtub, then fill it. If you have pails, you may use them, too. You'll need to wash the dishes or clean your toilet and bath somehow, and storing water can prepare you in case the tanks are emptied or if the pump does not work and there is no water from the faucet during the storm.
8. Stay at an "inner" room or at the hallways during the wind's onslaught. It might also be safe to stay at lower floors if the wind is too strong, as the pressure if the wind increases with elevation.
With elevation comes protection from flooding, but it increases the risk from wind damage. As with any other impending disaster, preparedness is key - regardless of what your living unit is.