Prepared for emergencies PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 23 October 2017 14:51

By Remedios F. Marmoleño

The 4 days  from  Oct 14 to 17  were stressful days in our household. And we expected the same for the 18th  but   hopefully  today will be the last day before the same situations happen again.

The utilities services in our house just broke down over these days. With the weather acting in an unexpected way, it just aggravated the situation.  My own observation over the years is that days before Fiesta Pilar  the weather in our city becomes bad – rainy and wet with gusty winds. Then just a day before the fiesta the sun comes out and gives us a pleasant day to celebrate  the fiesta in honor of Nuestra Señora del Pilar. But this year the days before and after the fiesta have been dismal – gusty winds and intermittent rain resulting in flooded streets.

Not only that but where we live ( I say “where we live”  because the situation may have been better in other sections in the city) the utilities sort of joined the jeepney strike. First no water came from the faucets on Sunday. We relied on our overhead tank for water but this soon ran out and the taps continued to be dry.  A friend in the ZWD was a big help when a tank truck was dispatched  to the house on Monday to load our water tank with some water.

With the water problem partly solved we had to deal with the erratic supply of electricity. We would have power for about 15 minutes and then it would be off for a couple of hours. When power came back it would be on for a few minutes only to be off again, then on again, then off again. I don’t know what that was all about except that I do not believe it was a problem of supply. It seemed to me that there was a connection somewhere that went off and on, like someone playing with a switch. But what do I know… this is a completely alien territory for me.

I do not wish it of course but I could not help but think of Leyte when it was struck by Yolanda and Puerto Rico with hurricane Maria. God forbid, what will happen if something like Yolanda or Maria strikes Zamboanga City?  Will the city be able to adequately meet what needs to be done?

I am aware that the city has an office tasked with meeting the people’s needs when emergencies come up, whether these be caused by natural situations like flood or typhoons or  man-made like a terrorist attack. Will we be ready by then to provide rational and effective response mechanisms?

We cannot take things for granted. We just have to be prepared for something to occur that can  threaten our lives or well-being.