VOX POPULI

How did you prepare for Typhoon Mangkhut?

 “We didn’t do anything different. We grew up with typhoons so we already knew what to prepare. We boarded up the house, but we did not have to put up a lot of boards since our house has typhoon-proof [windows]. We basically just stocked up on batteries, butane, non-perishable food items, and water, lots of water. The Governor’s Office and all of the stakeholders, including the Commonwealth Utilities Corp., Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Department of Public Safety, Department of Public Works, etc., were more prepared, so there was more coordination. The communication was very good and was professionally done, so the people knew what to expect and I commend everybody for doing a great job.”
—Rep. Donald Barcinas (R-Saipan)
 
 “I did the groceries first. We bought some batteries, candles, and lighters. We then bought butane, water, and gasoline for our car. On the day of the typhoon, we saved a lot of water in preparation for possible water and power outages. We started preparing since Sunday. This morning, we still await for our water connection, but we still have some water saved from Monday.”
—Renie Rose Danganan
 
 “I was able to prepare on Sunday. I bought some food to last me for about two days. There was a lot of panic buying going on last Sunday. I also bought some candles and water, since we have previously experienced outages during 2015’s Typhoon Soudelor. I also stocked up on gasoline.”
—James Mandaing
 
 “I just boarded up the windows, cleared loose debris and loose objects, and that was pretty much it. We knew that most of the winds were coming from the east. I kept up with the weather [reports]. I tracked on my phone where the typhoon is going, where it is exactly, what winds we might be getting. I also cleaned up the place in terms of branches, just in case some of them land near the house, and gas up some of the cars. Pretty much the essentials that we learned from 2015—just preparing with that mindset.”
—June Nunez
 
 “I boarded up the windows and secured our belongings. We have this outside kitchen, so we moved everything inside the house because we have another kitchen. We also prepared our generator, so we went and got gas, food, water, and batteries too. We already learned from Soudelor because we didn’t think it would hit [us] that bad. Now, even if we don’t think it would hit us bad, we are still prepared to at least be somewhere safe. We are taking all typhoons seriously now. Before, we just stayed home and let [the typhoon] pass. When Soudelor came, it changed everything.”
—Del Olaitiman
 
 “We wrapped all of our belongings at home because during Soudelor, our roof was blown off and everything got wet. Now, I am more aware of what can possibly happen. We evacuated the house actually, to stay in a hotel. We couldn’t go to the Koblerville Elementary School because it was already full, so we went to a hotel. Unfortunately, the hotel did not have a generator as well. At the time of the strong winds at noon yesterday, I had a room reserved for us at the hotel. We bought food and water and other necessities, but I really panicked when the store near us ran out of butane gas for the stove. We were able to get gas, but had to go to another store for it.”
—Rufe Malonzo
 
“I prioritized securing my sliding door because it was glass. I was thinking if the winds are strong and it breaks the back door, then all of my appliances in the back would be water damaged. First, I moved all my stuff from the glass door. My apartment staff provided us tenants with boards to protect our doors. The back door was destroyed during Soudelor back in 2015. I started shopping for emergency groceries at 7pm Sunday while monitoring the weather situation of the Marianas. I bought groceries to last me about 2-3 days. I also had some few last-minute purchases Monday morning.”
—Ezeth Buenaventura
 
 “The first thing I did was gas up my car. I then bought some more to fill up my 2.5-gallon gas container for my generator. I bought food for my children, which is first priority before buying water. I used all of the window shutters of my home to make sure everything is safe. Compared to Soudelor, Mangkhut was not as strong, but to those on Rota, I am just very thankful that the same situation did not apply to Saipan.”
—Russ Collada
 
“I boarded up my bedroom window because during Soudelor some debris went through it. Thankfully, I was not in my bedroom that time. We collected water for both drinking and showering, and moved all of my mom’s plants inside the house so they don’t get destroyed. We were expecting the power outage, and got our power cut off at 1:30pm. Our power was restored at 3:40am. We charged up all of our power banks and prepared batteries for our flashlights, along with some candles, just in case. We knew what to do, compared to Soudelor, and we handled this typhoon well.”
—Angelie Galvez
 

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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