Globally, tropical cyclone intensity is projected to increase, according to the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. For Guam and the Northern Marianas, the National Weather Service is predicting significant storm activity throughout the rest of the year.

Whether or not these projections prove true, the best time to focus on typhoon readiness is now. In this article, we’ll offer our tips for preparing for future storms, including how to build an emergency kit and what tools and materials you’ll want to have on hand if another major storm hits. We’ll also show you how our E-Ship Program can help you get some of those vital storm supplies to Guam, quickly and easily.

If recent storms like Typhoon Mawar taught us anything, it’s that we all need to be ready—both for potential storms and for the recovery period following major storm event.

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Understanding Guam's Typhoon Condition of Readiness System

Stay prepared for weather that might affect the island by getting to know Guam’s Typhoon Condition of Readiness system. Understanding each readiness level will help you and your family stay safe from potential typhoon impact.

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Step #1: Prep Your Family with an Emergency Plan

If you haven’t already, your first step to typhoon preparedness is to sit down with all the members of your household and discuss the potential emergencies your family might encounter, as well as how you’ll respond to them.

For example:

For a full list of the kinds of scenarios to discuss (and plan for!) with your household, check out the Guam Homeland Security website. There, you’ll find a list of items to review with your family now, so that everyone is on the same page in the case of an emergency or disaster.

Step #2: Assemble Your Emergency Kit

Do you have an emergency kit assembled and ready to go? If you don’t, this is the perfect time to assemble yours. If you do, it’s important to review it and refresh it regularly.

Don’t wait until there’s an approaching storm to stock your emergency kit. Everyone else on Guam will be looking for supplies, and shortages at times like those are a very real possibility.

Instead, purchase what you need now from local stores—or order whatever they don’t carry. (Our E-Ship Program can help you get what you need from online retailers who won’t ship to Guam!)

Below, you’ll find a list of suggested items from Guam Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Defense. Use it as a starting point for building an emergency kit for you and your family.

Disaster Supply Kit

Courtesy of the Office of Civil Defense

  • At least a three-day supply of water that includes one gallon per person, per day. Store water in sealed, unbreakable containers. Replace every six months.
  • A three-to-five day supply of non-perishable packaged or canned food and a non-electric can opener
  • A change of clothing, plus rain gear, and sturdy shoes
  • Blankets, bedding, or sleeping bags
  • A first aid kit
  • Prescription medications. (Make sure to toss expired medication and replace it.)
  • An extra pair of glasses or contact lenses, along with solution. (Check expiration dates and replace as needed.)
  • A list of family physicians, plus important medical information, such as the style and serial number of medical devices such as pacemakers
  • Any necessary special items for infants, the elderly, or family members with disabilities
  • A battery-powered radio (or a crank radio), a battery-powered lantern, and plenty of extra batteries.
  • A butane cooking stove with extra butane canisters
  • Identification, credit cards, cash, and photocopies of important family documents including home insurance information (Ziploc bags are perfect for keeping these items dry!)
  • An extra set of car and house keys
  • Tools such as screwdrivers, cutters and scissors, duct tape, waterproof matches, a fire extinguisher, plastic storage containers, needle and thread, pen and paper, garbage bags, and regular household bleach

Additionally, if your home doesn’t have typhoon shutters, you may want to have plywood on hand to cover your windows.

Don’t Forget Your Pets!

Put together a disaster survival kit for your pet that includes:

  • Identification collar and rabies tag
  • Carrier or cage
  • Leash
  • Any pet medications. (As with human medication, check expiration dates and discard expired medication.)
  • Newspapers and plastic trash bags for handling waste
  • At least a two-week supply of food and water, plus bowls to serve in
  • Veterinary records. (Most animal shelters do not allow pets without proof of vaccination)

What else will you need? If you’ve gone through a disaster or a storm recently, is there anything you wish you had? If so, make sure you have it on hand.

Finally, keep in mind that assembling an emergency kit isn’t a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. You should review your emergency kit at least once a year to restock any supplies you might have cherry-picked during the year and discard anything that’s expired, like water or medication.

Step #3: Prepare for Recovery

Your emergency kit is designed to get you through the storm itself. As anyone who went through Typhoon Mawar—or one of Guam’s other powerful typhoons—knows, surviving the storm is only half the battle.

Next comes the recovery effort, as Guam’s residents attempt to return everything to “normal.” You’ll need a different set of supplies during this period, especially when services like power aren’t restored immediately.

Some items you might consider include:

  • Tarps to cover any exterior holes. Plastic tarps can be very versatile. Tarps made of opaque material can also act as sun shades.
  • PPE, especially heavy-duty gloves and masks to protect you during clean-up.
  • Tools, including a chainsaw, axe, shovel, and rake to break down and remove debris. A drill, a pair of pliers, a hacksaw, and a wrench set can also be useful.
  • A generator in case the Guam Power Authority needs time to restore power to your area.
  • A few ropes, which can come in handy in a number of different ways. You might use a rope to string a tarp for shade, bundle items together, or move items like fallen trees.
  • Cleaning supplies, including a bucket, a large container of bleach, and a mop.

You’ll find a longer list of disaster recovery supplies at the Texas Extension Disaster Education Network website. Check out their additional suggestions and create your recovery kit accordingly. After all, you never can be too prepared.

Step #4: Getting Your Supplies to Guam

You may already have some of these preparation and disaster recovery items in your household. Others, you may be able to source locally.

Then, there are the supplies you’ll need to order. As you know, some retailers simply won’t ship to Guam, especially where larger items are concerned.

DeWitt Guam’s E-Ship Program can help. We can help you get items like the following to Guam, even if the online retailer you’re purchasing from doesn’t ship to Guam:

  • Generators
  • Building supplies—plywood, lumber, etc.
  • Large power tools, including chainsaws
  • A safe to protect your most important documents from water and fire damage
  • Furniture, patio items, and appliances, if you need to replace yours due to storm damage

Here’s how it works:

  1. Fill out our E-Ship Form.
  2. We’ll offer you an all-in-one shipping quote.
  3. You’ll give the online retailer the address for our warehouse in California.
  4. Once we receive it, we’ll move your item to Guam.
  5. When it arrives on Guam, we’ll arrange for delivery to your residence.

If it’s time for you to make some upgrades to your preparation or recovery kit, we’d be happy to help you get anything you need to Guam. Just fill out our E-Ship Form to get started, and we’ll be in touch with a quote.

Stay Prepared, Stay Safe

It’s impossible to predict the future. However, it is possible to do everything in your power to prepare carefully for future storm impact on Guam. With your emergency kit and disaster response supplies in place, you’ll put you and your family in the best position possible where potential storms are concerned.

If we can help you move materials or supplies to Guam, don’t hesitate to reach out to a team member. We would be happy to assist.

Tell us about your move!