November 11, 2015

Brownouts in the Philippines: How To Deal

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  • Brownouts in the Philippines: How To Deal
  • Filipinos use the term “brownout” to mean a blackout; rather than a mere decrease of electric power supply, brownout in the Philippine setting means a total power outage lasting for minutes or even hours. They are not as common nowadays unlike in the late 80s and 90s, but with typhoons hitting the country every now and then, and with the threat of power shortage due to El Niño, it’s best to be prepared for any brownout or blackout occurrences.


    Check out these tips to help you get ready for a power outage:

    Before a Brownout

    1. Invest in emergency power supply. Get a power generator if you are running a business or living in a big household. For individuals, a charged powerbank can be your lifeline in times of emergency.

    2. Have emergency lights on hand. Make sure that these are fully-charged and are placed in a central location in the house. Avoid using candles that may cause burns or fire.

    3. Equip the members of the family with solar or battery-operated flashlights and fans.

    4. Stay updated. Brownouts due to lack of power supply are usually announced beforehand through media outlets, so make it a point to get your daily dose of news.

    5. Add the contact details of your service provider on your list of emergency numbers. For most of Luzon, it’s Manila Electric Company or MERALCO: 16211 (hotline), 0920 9716211 (SMS for Smart), 0917 5516211 (SMS for Globe), and @meralco on Twitter.

    6. Check your cooking appliances. If they run on electricity, add the contact details of nearby fastfood restaurants in case of prolonged power outages. Stock up on ready-to-eat food.

    During a Brownout

    1. Stay calm. Locate and turn on your emergency lights.

    2. Unplug appliances during a brownout. This is to avoid a power surge once electricity is back up, which can cause permanent damage to appliances.

    3. If the brownout happens at nighttime, double-check your house locks to avoid untoward or harmful incidents.

    4. If the power has not been restored after a few hours (if unannounced) or if the outage persists beyond its schedule (if announced), contact your service provider for an update.

    5. Got other tips that may help your fellow readers? Share them in the comments section below!

    Article by Mina Loyola

    Photo from Wikimedia Commons

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