Typhoon & Safety

Typhoon Preparedness & Safety Tips

A. General Planning Tips

1. Protect yourself and your family by having a communication and emergency plan.

2. Put some money aside for emergencies.

3. Prepare a typhoon kit. See suggestions below.

4. Prepare a contact list of emergency numbers and website addresses for immediate
reference.

5. Home health care patients or those who may need medical attention during a storm and those dependent on power for their medical needs should discuss emergency plans with their physician beforehand and make appropriate arrangements.

6. If CUC power goes off, turn off the main breakers.

7. If you plan to leave your home for a shelter or go off-island, turn off your water service valve(s).

B. Electrical Tips

1. Unplug appliances and other electronic equipment.

2. Stay away from electrical appliances that are still plugged in such as: toasters, electric stoves, etc.

3. During high winds, rain and typhoons, do not walk or park your vehicles under or near power lines or trees.

4. Stay away from fallen, dangling or damaged electric wires, which may still be dangerous. Call CUC immediately to report it at
(670) 664-4282.

5. Should a power line fall on the ground or on your vehicle, do not go near the wire – stay at least 50 feet away. Call CUC immediately to report it.

6. Should a power line fall on your vehicle while you are inside, do not open the door or try to get out. Stay inside. If you try to leave your vehicle, it can cause electrocution, severe injury or death. Do not let anyone approach your vehicle. Tell them to stay away and call CUC immediately.

7. Do not use generators without the proper electrical switches. All generators should be connected through a double throw switch to protect your property and the line crews working on the system.

8. Incorrectly connected generators can cause a back-feed through your secondary wiring back to the overhead transformer whereby re-energizing the overhead system to 7,970 volts. Severe injury and death can result from incorrectly installed generators.

9. Never use a generator inside your home or garage, even if the doors and windows are open. Only use generators outside, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors, and windows. Generators produce the odorless, colorless poisonous gas carbon monoxide and when inhaled can kill without warning.

C. Water Tips

1. Fill up water containers, bathtubs and tanks in anticipation of water service outage. Be informed that your area water supply may be contaminated by flooding or damages by the typhoon.

2. Store drinking water for consumption.

3. When evacuating your home or facility, turn off the main water valve. After the storm, assess for any leaks within your property and repair the leaks, if any, right away.

4. CUC will continue to fill distribution storage reservoirs until power is lost. In anticipation of power outages, CUC will purposely valve off the distribution tanks to aid with rationing of water after the storm.

5. Critical facilities will be top priority to restore water services to first.

6. As the water distribution system begins to restore to normal operations, please conserve water and use sparingly. This will help our water supply last for longer periods.

7. As the sanitary sewer collection system may be hydraulically stressed, CUC wants to avoid overflows and back-ups into homes and businesses. Please help by limiting the amount of wastewater or “sewer” disposal from your home or facility.

8. TOILET TIP: “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.” This will help conserve water and reduce hydraulic strain on the sanitary sewer collection system.

9. Do not open sewer lateral clean outs or manholes to drain streams or flooded areas. This will cause overflows of the sewer collection system and potential health hazards.

D. Quick Tips for Treating Water

Water may be disinfected by adding a small amount of household bleach (non-scented), such as Clorox, using the following chart:
Container Size Amount of Bleach (Clear Water) Amount of Bleach (Cloudy Water)
One (1) Gallon
3 Drops
6 Drops
One (5) Gallon
15 Drops
30 Drops
Fifty-Five (55) Gallon
1.5 Teaspoons
1 Tablespoon
One Hundred (100) Gallon
3 Teaspoons
2 Tablespoons
Five Hundred (500) Gallon
5 Tablespoons
0.5 Cup
One Thousand (1000) Gallon
0.5 Cup
1 CUP
    • Allow the water to stand in a covered container, away from sunlight if possible, for at least 30 minutes.
    • Water may also be disinfected by boiling vigorously for one to five minutes.

E. Other Safety Measures

1. Always have a communication device charged and ready. Make sure your radio and/or other communication equipment have back up batteries. Stay informed on the latest weather warnings and advisories.

2. Place important documents, such as insurance papers, passports, birth certificates, etc., in waterproof bags or containers.

3. Board up doors and windows or protect them with storm shutters. Danger to small windows is mainly from wind-driven debris. Larger windows may be broken by wind pressure.

4. Know your surroundings and how to secure your properties and loose outdoor objects that might be blown away or uprooted. Many outdoor objects that are harmless items can become missiles of destruction in typhoon force winds.

5. Fill up your vehicle with fuel.

6. Remain indoors during the typhoon. Travel is extremely dangerous especially during high winds and heavy rain showers.

7. If your home is not storm proof, evacuate to an official shelter and stay there until the typhoon is over.

8. Before you leave your home, turn off gas valves, electrical main breaker, and close main water valve.

9. Unless you need to evacuate, stay at home and on high ground.

10. If you must leave your gas valves on, check for leaking gas pipes throughout the storm. Do this by smell. Do not use matches or candles. If you smell gas, do this:

a. Open all windows and doors.
b. Turn off the main gas valve.
c. Leave your house immediately.
d. Don’t re-enter your house until it is safe to do so.

11. If any of your electrical appliances are wet, first turn off the main power switch in your house, then unplug the wet appliances, dry it out, reconnect it, and then, turn on the main power switch. Don’t do any of these things while you are wet or standing in water. If fuses blow when the electric power is restored, turn off the main power switch again and then inspect for short circuits in your home wiring,
appliances, etc.

12. Do not consume food and water supplies that may be spoiled or contaminated.

13. Stay away from disaster areas.

14. Stay off the road. After storm sightseeing creates traffic jams and could interfere with restoration efforts, first-aid or rescue work, and may be dangerous as well.

F. Suggested Items for a Typhoon Kit

Food/Canned Goods First Aid Kit Money
Drinking Water Prescriptions Kerosene
Water for Washing Mosquito/Bug Repellant Fire Extinguisher
Candles Matches/Lighters
Flashlights Oil Lamps or Lanterns
Cellular Phone Battery-Operated Radio
Batteries Power Banks
Paper Towel Toilet Paper
Bottle Opener Manual Can Opener
Ice/Ice Chest Disposable Plates/Utensils/Cups
Mosquito Coils Trash Bags/Plastic Bags
Towels Whistle
Portable Gas Burner Butane

Official Bulletins and Advisories

The CNMI Emergency Operations Center (EOC) issues the official warnings when
inclement weather is approaching the islands of the Commonwealth. Please keep informed with bulletins and advisories issued by the Office of Homeland Security (HSEM).

HSEM website: www.cnmihsem.gov.mp.

To report utility damages, call (670) 664-4282 (4CUC)

For power and water outage advisories and updates, please call the CUC hotline at (670) 236-4333 or visit CUC’s website at www.cucgov.org or Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CommonwealthUtilitiesCorporation/