Millions in the Philippines are without electricity and perhaps more than 10,000 dead following the destruction from Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines last week.
Backup power is not prominent in the region, and phone services took a major hit. It could take months to restore power in some locations. Millions of Filipinos are now learning firsthand the high cost of not being prepared for an emergency.
“No electricity. No food. No water. Houses and buildings leveled. Bodies scattered on the streets. Hospitals overrun with patients. Medical supplies running out,” is how CNN described the situation in Tacloban, Leyte province. Tacloban is a city of 200,000 people and it has been leveled and its people left without government services. Winds may have reached 190 mph.
“People are desperate,” the country’s president said.
The frightening thing is that this is the second destructive typhoon to hit the Philippines in less than a month. In early October Typhoon Nari left two million people without power and ripped the roofs off of thousands of buildings.
‘Worse than Hell’
The conditions after the latest typhoon are truly frightening. Most disturbing, they show what conditions might be like after a super storm in the United States.
“This is really, really like bad, bad worse than hell,” survivor Magina Fernandez told CNN. Fernandez was many of people who were desperately trying to get on military planes for evacuation.
Reports from journalists on the scene verify Fernandez’s claims. Some of the horrors recounted include:
- First responders such as firefighters and police officers were not doing their jobs or even reporting for work, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III admitted.
- Law enforcement completely broke down in Tacloban. News reports showed mobs looting grocery stores and smashing automatic teller machines in a desperate bid for survival.
- Only one hospital was operating in the city and it was no longer able to admit victims.
- Doctors in Tacloban said the hospital had run out of medical supplies.
- Another Philippine city, Bogo, is completely blacked out. Authorities told journalists that it will take months to restore power.
- Roads were blocked by fallen trees.
- 620,000 people have lost their homes.
- The only food that some of the survivors will have is high energy biscuits distributed by the United Nations. That is if the UN can find a way to get the biscuits to the survivors; much of the transportation infrastructure was knocked out by the typhoon.
Can Your Family Survive a Super Storm?
Preparing for an emergency apparently is no joke, as Americans in some locations have learned: Super Storm Sandy hit in 2012 and and Winter Storm Atlas hit this year, dumping more than three feet of snow in South Dakota in early October.
The situation in Tacloban shows why it is so critical for a family to have a disaster plan and supplies. You may need to get out of town quickly and stay out of town for a long period time if a super storm hits.
The typhoon also demonstrates how vulnerable a power grid is to weather. Every entrepreneur needs to look into backup power sources in order to stay in business and keep generating income after a disaster.