CLEMELLE L. MONTALLANA, DM, CESE
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR III
Walk in the manner of the ant, O slacker;
observe its ways and become wise.-Proverbs
Ironic as it may seem , we must anticipate the reality of El Nino or long dry spell , even if its raining and Typhoon is at the door .In fact , the predictions of the drought would be wise to heed as leading scientists are on it . The weather bureau expects the country to have fewer typhoons this year because of El Niño. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration predicted that El Niño, the warming of the Pacific Ocean, will most likely prevail in July. This story was bannered by Manila Times early this year. Philippine Daily Inquirer in the April issue of the paper interviewed the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration and predicted that : The occurrence of an El Niño phenomenon this year has become more likely, with now a probability of at least 80 percent, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said on Tuesday.
The weather bureau, however, clarified that before the looming onset of an El Niño, the Philippines would first experience a rainy season.
PAG ASA warned that heavy rainfalls might occur before the onset of the phenomenon.
“From previous experience natin, pwede tayong makaexperience ng extreme rainfall event like Ondoy noong 2009 wherein nagkaroon ng El Niño noong 2009 to 2010. Bago maramdaman ‘yung kakulangan sa tubig, nakaexperience tayo ng extreme rainfall events,” she said.
Meanwhile , what can we do to prepare ;
Here are the measures that LGUs can take:
- Conserve water. Conserving water is one of the key actions needed to be taken to mitigate the effects of El Niño1. LGUs can enact ordinances curbing illegal connections and encouraging prudent water usage1.
- Fix water leaks. LGUs can allow water concessionaires and water utilities to conduct emergency leak repairs1.
- Maximize rainwater usage. LGUs can implement measures to maximize rainwater usage for harvesting and storage1.
- Implement contingency plans. LGUs can implement and update existing contingency plans related to El Niño1.
- Stockpile relief goods. LGUs can stockpile relief goods for immediate relief assistance1.
- Coordinate with other agencies.
What can individual homes do to prepare :
El Niño is a climate pattern that occurs when sea surface temperatures over the Central and Eastern Pacific Oceans warm up and affect air and sea currents. It increases the likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions, potentially causing dry spells, droughts, and other adverse environmental effects1. Here are some tips to help you prepare for and cope with El Niño at the household level in the Philippines:
- Monitor weather forecasts and advisories: Stay updated on the latest weather news and advisories from reliable sources such as PAGASA1.
- Conserve water: During El Niño, water supply may be limited. It’s important to conserve water by fixing leaks, taking shorter showers, and using a bucket to wash your car instead of a hose1.
- Prepare for power outages: El Niño can affect the electricity supply since some power plants depend on dams. Make sure to have emergency supplies such as flashlights, batteries, and candles on hand1.
- Protect your health: Hot weather can increase the risk of heatstroke and other heat-related illnesses. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, wear light-colored clothing, and avoid strenuous activities during the hottest part of the day1.
This may be trivial for now but it may be helpful soon.