Typhoon Souldelor Saipan Relief Effort Update
First and foremost I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart with all the help and assistance these past few weeks with our sister island of Saipan and prayers to all who are still recovering and struggling in this tough time.
Growing up as a kid, typhoons were always an adventure. No TV… No Power… just the great outdoors! From recollection, typhoons were always an adventure with friends and cousins!
My past trip to Saipan was LIFE CHANGING! In yesterday’s post I wrote about how with technology, media and the distractions of today’s society we are numb to life’s necessities! After touring Saipan in its post typhoon aftermath, it showed how Mother Nature can take away all of life’s privileges…. In seconds!
When I first arrived, the first thing I noticed flying into Saipan was the color of the island. Saipan is always green from the amount of trees, grass and plants around the island. Saipan was brown! It was as if someone ran a bush cutter throughout the whole island.
As we drove around the island, you start to notice that almost everyone with tin structures had some sort of damage! It was heart wrenching. And certain parts of the island, families had lost EVERYTHING! 🙁 Out of this whole experience I took 4 life lessons that I will constantly remind myself about moving forward:
4 Essentials You Absolutely Need for LIFE in the Islands. Saipan | Guam | CNMI | Marianas
We all know we need food!
But there are lots of factors of food that you have to consider in conditions with no power and no water. All local farms (animal farms and crops) are damaged from the storm, so what are other options do you have for food? Canned food is all we have in the first parts of the aftermath. There is no power so all the refrigerators and freezers are down, which means all frozen goods will go bad in 24-36 hours.
I know it may seem a little too extreme asking these questions like its a zombie apocalypse, BUT you gotta take into account that Typhoon Souldelor ONLY hit Saipan for about 2 hours. IMAGE if it hit like a regular typhoon for hours at a time… Then, you would have a whole different situation. The questions to ask yourself now are…
Do you have enough canned food to survive?
Do you know how to preserve fresh produce by salting and drying it?
Do you know how to grow you own crops? Do you have enough land to grow your own food?
Do you have enough water to sustain a farm of crops? Do you have a system of catching the water? And this question leads me to the next important thing on the list…
ESSENTIAL # 2 WATER
Running water and accessible drinking water is something that WE ALL take for granted on a daily basis. Sometimes we leave the faucet on while brushing our teeth or take that extra few minutes of showering with hot water. WITHOUT running water and “accessible” drinking water… life is a whole lot different. Let me start with running water.
While we were passing out the goods for the relief, it was crazy seeing families with no houses and no running water. People had to build outside restrooms by digging holes in the ground and making a little outhouse. (just like the lanchu ombre) Seeing this really put into perspective the privilege of having running water in your home. My parents were fortunate enough to have running water at the house, which made the trip not so bad. I could confidently say I could live life without power! However, without running water? That would make a total change in lifestyle for me. Imagine, not being able to just wash your hands, shower, flush the toilet, etc… Different lifestyle!
Accessible drinking water is another privilege we have. I have a question for you. Do you know how to catch rain water and preserve it properly? If there isn’t rain do you know the nearest fresh water well or river? These are questions you gotta ask yourself in times of catastrophes. Drinking water is worth more than GOLD in times of need. When I cut weight for fights and lose 10-15 lbs in a week from water weight, I don’t think about food, I don’t think about money, i don’t think about ice cream.. ALL I THINK ABOUT IS WATER! You can live a weeks without food… but without water? A few days tops!
The coolest thing about Saipan is that a lot of the people and houses have water tanks. And houses are designed to collect rain water that go straight into the tank storage. That is such a great idea.
So now… After the devastation, you start raising your animals and your crops, but do you have enough water to sustain it? and your family?
ESSENTIAL # 3 SHELTER
Historically we would get a typhoon every year. Seems like lately we haven’t had a bad typhoon in over a decade. From what I saw in Saipan, everywhere that had tin in their structure was partially or totally damaged. Shelter ensures proper safety for yourself and your family.
So now you have no power for a few months and you’re so used to having the AC on all the time. I learned so much about how to design your house from my dad. I gotta take my hat off for my pops! He never fails to teach me life lessons that I can take on for the rest of my life. My dad strategically designed our house in Dan dan so that without power you can still hang out inside without complaining about the tropical heat all the time. Everyone in Saipan that didn’t have power were asking for battery operated fans. I see why. IT IS SO HOT during the day, IF, your house is not designed properly. My dad made sure that there were big windows and the main doors are on the windward sides of the house. Open both doors and now you have a gust of wind flowing through keeping the house cool!
This past trip I was sleeping on cold tile floor with the outside breeze. After a few days of getting used to sleeping on hard floor, it wasn’t so bad. Things could of been worse.
Thanks again dad for the solid house design! 🙂
ESSENTIAL # 4 EACH OTHER
At the end of the day… All you have is each other! Whether each other means family, friends, girlfriend, wife, kids, grand kids or whatever! At the end of the day all we have is each other to help one another in a time of need.
Times with no power or water can be tough. People will have shorter tempers, people suffering in their own ways, but when we do come together and help each other… the pain is less painful and the happy is happier!
Truthfully, I am very fortunate to be alive in this time period. It was such a blessing to see the islands come together when one is in need. Living on Guam, after the storm hit Saipan, so much people and businesses were offering help and assistance in their way possible. The help and assistance from the other islands was overwhelmingly AWESOME! Im so blessed to have witnessed it. While I was on Saipan, I got to see a bunch of GPA (Guam Power Authority) trucks going around taking down broken poles and putting up new ones flying the Guam flag high. It was an amazing sight to see people from Saipan beeping and waving at these trucks as they assisted with the relief efforts.
“Divided we are weak… Together we are strong!”
may we all continue to pray and help one another. Lets not wait for another storm for us to come together! Man uno hit! Man hita todu!
EPISODE 2: Relief Goods Arrive in Saipan for Distribution