How Do Techies Prepare for #RollyPH?

Published October 31, 2020, 12:46 PM

by Robert "Bob" Reyes

As typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni) rapidly intensifies to super typhoon levels over the last 24 hours, the government is asking people in Luzon (particularly around the areas of Bicol, Quezon, Aurora, and even Metro Manila) to be prepared and take extra precaution – especially that there is an on-going pandemic.

As a techie, how do I prepare for any eventuality now that different international weather agencies are projecting with almost certainty that #RollyPH will be hitting Metro Manila (where I am currently residing)? Let me share with you some tips.

Check Your Roof

We still have around 24 hours to prepare for Typhoon Rolly. As early as now, please check your roof for any leaks or loose nuts and bolts. If the typhoon intensifies fully to the super category, our houses will be facing very strong winds, and losing your roof during a storm is not a good scenario.

Also, make sure that your windows are secured, too.

Reload Prepaid Credits

Communication is key during times of calamities. If you are on prepaid, make sure that you have more than enough load credits to make a phone call, surf the internet, and social media when needed. If you are on postpaid, please check your available credit limit (balance). Also, ensure that emergency contact numbers are saved in the speed dial of your phones.

Charge All Devices

Now is the best time to charge all of your devices and power banks. As per PAGASA, Typhoon Rolly will have a maximum sustained winds of 215kph near the center and gustiness of up to 265kph (as of 8 AM 31 October 2020). Such strong winds can topple power distribution lines, resulting in power outages.

I have this WiFi to Power Bank step-up cables, which can be used to power up my DSL modem (or prepaid internet routers) using an ordinary power bank. I am also preparing my LED lighting kits, just in case the lights will be out.

Monitor the Weather

Now, more than ever, people should be fully informed. Monitoring the weather from respectable and reliable sources is not overacting. One good use of social media during times like this: check on weather bulletins and news updates. Be sure to subscribe to the Manila Bulletin on Facebook [] and Twitter [@manilabulletin].

Backup to the Cloud

Backup your files and folders to the cloud now. We still do not know what will happen after this storm. You may use free services such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Amazon S3 to backup important files and folders on your computers as early as now. By doing so, you will still have access to your data from any device, anywhere.

Apps for Disaster Preparedness

These are some of the apps that I have installed on my smartphones:

  • Since I am from Makati City, I have the Makatizen app. Your respective local government unit (LGU) may have its citizen app; go, install it now.
  • If your LGU does not have its own emergency app, you may install the Pure Force Citizens App.
  • For weather news and typhoon tracking, I use these apps:
    • Weather Underground
    • Windy

Store Food and Water

Make sure that you have ample stocks of food and water, enough to last for around a week. The typhoon will not just disrupt the supply chain, it will also make prices of some commodities higher (due to the law of supply and demand) next week. But please, DO NOT hoard and panic buy.

As we say it in the scouting movement, “Be prepared.” Stay safe everyone.