Monday, October 5, 2009

Helping With All Your Heart - My Ondoy Experience

Let me start by Thanking God. Last Saturday when Ondoy devastated Metro Manila, we were really thankful that we have no plans whatsoever to go out that day AND, our place never had an inch of flood that day. (The corner was flooded by an inch or two but, it was 30 steps away)

It started as a normal morning -- other than the non-stop rain that started around 7pm the night before, that is.

Charged whatever we can charge as our place is notorious for power outages and I have no idea why is that so. When the power went out, I wore my brother's boots to go out and check the status outside. It was clear. No one seems to need any help and, thank God for that.

Being a rain-lover like me, never did I imagine that the non-stop rain of typhoon Ketsana (a.k.a. Ondoy) would send me chills. Equipped with a pessimistic mind for that day only, I prayed for the safety of all.

A few minutes after, my cousin called to inform me that my grandma was trapped inside her house. The flood was not high "yet" but, my grandma was scared. Around 730pm, I blogged using my phone. Here is a part of my blog:

Going back to typhoon ondoy, my grandma's place would be one of the least possible places to get flooded. It is elevated enough that there is an approx 45 degree ramp for you to enter the parking area. Today, and as I am typing, their first floor is still flooded.

Nothing I can humanly do now but pray. All roads leading there from where i am currently is flooded.

Hearing and reading a lot of far more worst situations than what my grandma is experiencing now and i want to thank God for keeping my grandma safe. Im praying for the others too.

There. I was a bit scared and at the same time feeling hopeless because to reach my grandma's place, I have to pass through this...

See? I need a big truck.. no, no... I need a boat with a motor to cross safely to the other side.

Fortunately, my cousin was able to reach their place from behind because unfortunately, as our place was not flooded, the floods from all sides going to my grandma's place was either flooded or not moving.

They were able to reach her around 2am.

My contribution to the society
Having the power of internet using my fully-charged mobile phone, I texted everyone I know of the emergency numbers they can call. Several friends also sent me their addresses so I can report them to request for rescue. Fortunately, several friends were rescued immediately.

Also, I can say that informing people of the right information is important to prevent further panic. There were several "misleading" information that was disseminated that day and the days after. I could say that my help was replying to those who sent the said message that their message is not wrong or accurate and told them kindly to help stop the spread of the said message.

My other contribution was making this blog post and informing them on getting ready for future similar events.

This weekend, we are scheduled (together with fellow fil-chi fire volunteer friends) to send and help distribute relief goods to those areas that haven't recovered yet and in need. The first batch was done last Sunday.

Here are some important numbers to remember:

1. Disaster Emergency Hotlines: 911-1873, 912-5296, 912-2665
2. Quezon City Rescue: 161
3. Meralco: 16220, 09175592824, 09209292824, 631-1111, 16211
4. Philippine National Red Cross: 09209527268, 5270000
5. National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC): 911-14-06 / 734-2118 / 734-2120 / 911-18-73 / 911-19-06 / 911-50-61 / 912-09-84 / 912-26-65 / 912-30-46 / 912-52-96 / 912-56-68
6. Disaster Relief Operations, monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC), DSWD-NCR – 488-3199 (24hours)
7. Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU), DSWD-NCR – 733 8635 (24 hours)
8. Disaster Relief Operations, Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC), DSWD-Central Office – 931 8101 to 05, local 506; 951 7119 (24 hours)
9. Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA): 136 / 896-6000
10. PAGASA: 927-1541
11. ABS-CBN: 4163641
12. Dick Gordon 09178997898 / 09384442697
13. Bureau of Fire Protection: 729 5166, 4106254, 4138859, 4071230
14. Coast Guard: 527 6136, 527 6137
15. Police Central Hotline 171
16. NCRPO: 838-3203. 838-3354
17. Rizal PDCC: 09153767070 and 09278400133
18. Maynilad: 1626

Indeed, at times like these, where I am from, everyone is a hero!
God bless us all. God bless the Philippines!