Are you moving to or live in the Philippines? We know the weather can get a little hairy at times... Here's some tips to survive!
27 June 2016| Last updated on 22 October 2017
The Philippines sits in the South East Asia region where the weather is tropical. This means that it is hot and humid all year long. It also means we basically only have two seasons. Wet and Dry.
We are now just getting into the wet season and since the Philippines has a long history with typhoons and is prone to flooding across the whole country, I need to get myself organised with a plan of attack.
Last year was our first experience with the wet season and it was really dry because of the El Nino going through. This year we have been told to batten down the hatches, we are expecting heavy downfall and a tirade of typhoons coming through.
Now, I know the basics of preparing for a wet season, you know, gum boots, a good strong brollie but we are in the big leagues here.
I knew I needed to do some research so I hit up a few friends asking them for advice on how they have prepared and survived the wet seasons experienced here in Manila.
I have now created a solid checklist for surviving the wet season, and here it is.
Pack your car with a sturdy umbrella and an emergency kit. Your emergency kit should consist of: a spare change of clothes each, a towel, sealed bottles of water and dry snacks.
Muslie bars, biscuits, easy to open tetra packs and bags are the go. Always include maps and have a spare mobile charger handy. Include some toys, books and small games if you have children and throw in a torch with batteries for good measure.
A friend of mine was trapped in her car for ten hours once due to unexpected flooding, so this list is not in any way unreasonable.
You need to organise an emergency kit for your home.
Your emergency kit should include things such as a few torches with batteries, water for at least three days, non-perishable foods, a can opener, first aid kit and enclosed shoes.
Keep it all in an easy to carry backpack. For more information on what should go into an emergency kit check out sites such as https://www.ready.gov/kit which has a sensible list.
Day to Day Preparation
You need to prepare for day to day life should you be trapped indoors and unable to get to shops. Precook and freeze easy meals.
Have extra water for at least three days more than you would normally store.
Cut fruit into chunks and freeze in zip lock bags so you can make smoothies should you be unable to buy fresh produce.
Chop up and freeze vegetables as well. Stock up on tinned and dry non-perishable foods. Make sure you have torches, battery run lights, extra batteries and fans ready to go. It is important you work out with your family, a strategy for black outs and evacuation.
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A Buddy System
Set up a buddy system with friends who live in close proximity.
Grab a reusable shopping bag and pack a spare change of clothes and underwear and keep that at your friend’s house.
If you are unable to return to your home due to flooding or safety, you have a ‘safe house’ to go to where you have fresh clothes.
Getting out and About
This is probably really obvious but keep a closer eye on the weather forecast and keep travel closer to home.
When you are planning on going places check with local authorities about flood risk for those areas. Be careful on the roads, do not take unnecessary risks and allow extra travel time.
Here in The Philippines the weather is still hot and humid, even in wet season.
We also remove our shoes when we arrive at a person’s place so the idea of getting around in flip flops for local travel is appealing.
The issue is that our public spaces are really filthy. The sidewalks are used as public urinals and we have a massive population of stray dogs, cats and rather large rats that wander around freely.
When we have heavy rain and torrents of water are flowing across the ground we walk on, drains are overflowing and puddles are formed, we need to consider what is in that water.
My recommendation is getting a few pairs of closed in shoes that are easy to slip on and off and you can easily put in the washing machine for a quick rinse off when they get really dirty.
Have a pair of trainers and for the kids, and gumboots as well. I keep flip flops in the car with a bag for dirty shoes too.
That way I don’t have to worry about where the kids are putting their feet as we drive.
If you have children you know how challenging this can be.
Stock up on resources for indoor activities and get creative to fight boredom.
Have a pile of old sheets so the kids can build forts and cubby houses indoors.
Buy a few large removalist boxes to use to make pirate ships and castles. Stock up on craft supplies and get creative.
Crayola Window Crayons are a great investment. The kids will be entertained for hours and they are super fun and super easy to clean up.
You can find them at most shops that stock craft items and Crayola products. If you can handle kids in the kitchen, prepare stock so you can bake cupcakes and make DIY pizzas.
Don’t forget too, that it is okay for children to feel bored. Then they start to get creative with their surroundings and create their own play.
So let them entertain themselves with everything they have around them.
SEE ALSO: Weekend trips from Singapore
Spring Cleaning Time
Being trapped indoors is a great time to spring clean.
Clean out wardrobes and make a pile of clothes you can donate to charity.
Tidy out toys, tidy out your areas of clutter, and rearrange and tidy up every room. Make use of this time being shut away from the world outside.
Start something new
Have you always thought you would like to write?
Have you got an interest in cake decorating or do you have an old sewing machine sitting gathering dust in the corner?
When you are housebound there really is no better time to start a new hobby, or start making that dream a reality.
When you are really going crazy being stuck inside
How many times do you say you want to get out and explore more?
It sounds like a contradiction to the rest of this article I know, however have you ever just spent time online to research all of the funky little places that are close to home?
The really groovy cafes, unique shops, shopping centres and children’s activity centres’ that are relatively easy to get to in the rain?
This is a great time to explore your local area on the days the rain is sparing.
You just need to find them so get your research hat on, make friends with Google and reach out to your contacts.
You never know what treasures you will find.
About the Author
I am SaltyBug, an expat, a writer & an adventurer living in Manila, the Philippines. Come along for the ride as I capture moments in this new world. Follow me at The Adventures of Salty Bug.