Pacific Daily News

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (April 2) - Yesterday, Guam residents spent a good part of their day making preparations for the approach of Typhoon Kong-Rey, which was on track to make its closest point of approach to Guam sometime today.

All across the island, people were putting up typhoon shutters, cleaning up their yards to prevent items from potentially becoming air-borne missiles, testing generators, stocking up on nonperishable food, water, batteries and candles, getting money from ATMs and topping off their gas tanks. Pregnant women and their husbands made the trek to the hospital, while emergency workers and Guam Power Authority crews got ready for response mode.

Most of us who live here have been through the drill more times than we can count, making all the necessary preparations -- all the while hoping, and praying, that the oncoming storm wouldn't hit the island or, if it did, that it wouldn't be all that bad. Those who haven't ever been through a storm, or even the calm hurriedness of the island getting reading for one, got a bit of a learning experience that will benefit them the next time around.

What's critical is that all those people who made these careful preparations take steps to ensure that they remain safe today and for the next few days, in the wake of the storm.

Stay away from any downed power lines, and call the Guam Power Authority at 475-1472~4 to report any that you see in your neighborhood.

Don't travel on the roads unless it's absolutely necessary.

If you must drive, do so cautiously, with an eye out for debris. Obey all traffic laws and remember that if the power is out, all intersections become four-way stops.

Stay out of the ocean and off the reef in the days ahead. The surf will be rough and potentially deadly, and powerful waves can sweep reef walkers out into the ocean.

By exercising a little common sense, you can keep yourself, and your family and loved ones, safe.

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