Here’s How To Protect Your Home During a Typhoon
Get advice from these architects on how to prep and protect your home before and during a big storm
Storms have gotten stronger in the past few years, and we have seen the devastating consequences of getting caught unprepared. There is no such thing as being too ready when preparing our homes for natural disasters, as there is one super-typhoon (Typhoon Mankhut/Opong) approaching us soon. Here are some important tips:
BEFORE THE TYPHOON
Remember the old Benjamin Franklin axiom: “One ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” The same applies to prepping your house before a storm.
Check for watermarks and moist spots in your house.
These parts are usually obvious because they exhibit dark and damp water stains. “We should note occurrence of water marks and drips coming from ceilings and moisture on walls,” advises architect Allen Obleña. “This cannot be readily remedied during rainy days, but this would give us enough time to save up for repairs on a dryer season.”
Regularly check and make sure that the roof gutters aren’t clogged.
Set a date once a month, even before any storms are predicted, to go up the roof and check your gutters. “Especially those who have interior gutters, which tend to be more problematic than the regular ones,” says Allen.
DURING A TYPHOON
Your number one concern should be your safety, so staying indoors is a must. When your home starts sustaining damage from the storm, here’s what you should do:
When your roof starts to leak:
Locate where the leak is and plug it.
“Some leaks can be remedied by quick-dry water stoppers,” Allen says. Architect Anthony Yan recommends plugging the leak from the inside of your house. “But it will be more challenging to identify the leak if it comes from the edges and crawls through the ceiling, especially if you have a dropped or high ceiling. If the wind and rain is not too strong, you can still apply sealant on the suspected source of leaks,” says Anthony.
When floodwater starts entering your house:
Turn off your main electrical switch.
“If there’s one thing worse than a house being flooded, it is a house being flooded and catching fire at the same time,” says Allen.
Prepare handy emergency kits.
“We’ve seen people forced to stay on the upper floors, some even on the roof. They stay there waiting for the flood to subside. It may take hours, even days, and rescuers would come in later. It would be best to prepare for such kind of situations,” advises Allen. To know what to prep in your emergency storm kit, click on the link below.
If your roof gets blown away:
Stay calm and evacuate as fast as you can.
“Secure the house by locking the doors and gates. Don’t bother reinforcing them. At this point, it is critical to leave the premises,” advises Allen.
This article originally appeared in RL Notebook in the September 2014 issue of Real Living magazine
More on Realliving.com.ph