S. Leyte students prepared for disasters
Over 600 students in disaster-prone Southern Leyte learned the importance of being prepared in emergencies through games and educational talks during the third leg of the TNT Tropang Ready Disaster Preparedness Caravan held at Southern Leyte State University in Sogod, Leyte.
Disaster preparedness experts from government agencies and other partner institutions taught the SLSU students practical tips on preparing for disasters, as well as what to do when calamity strikes.
The attendees were also treated to interactive booths, games and other activities that put emphasis on disaster risk reduction management and practices, such as making a paracord bracelet, which makes use of a sturdy rope and contains a whistle that can come in handy during emergencies.
The topography of Southern Leyte “makes it vulnerable during disasters,” said lawyer Jane Paredes, Smart Public Affairs head for Visayas-Mindanao.
In fact, the province is one of the most prone to landslide and flooding, according to Danilo Atienza, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office head.
The goal of the PDRRMO, Atienza added, was to have zero casualties during disasters.
Noel de Guia of Get Ready Pinas talked about “Pinas,” an acronym for the importance of being “prepared, informed, and acting smart during emergencies.”
Louie Domingo of the Emergency Management Center, meanwhile, discussed tips on how to prepare during emergencies, such as the proper way of doing the “duck, cover, hold” technique during earthquakes, as well as shared the contents and uses of a Go Bag, a kit meant to help an individual or a family survive the next 72 hours following a calamity.
The kit includes a flashlight, bottle of water, mobile phone, which has a separate compartment for a double A battery, big garbage bag, T-shirt, battery for flashlight, and other essentials.
Domingo stressed the importance not just of being prepared during emergencies, but also of dealing with the climate condition in the province through harvesting rain water and maintaining an aquaponics system, among other practices.
Rio Marasigan of the Department of Science and Technology’s Project Noah, for his part, talked about flood hazard maps and how navigating the website could be useful in finding the safe places to go to during emergencies.
The importance of communication during disasters was also stressed by Nova Concepcion, Smart community partnerships manager, as she showed students how to activate their phone’s cell broadcast feature, as well as taught them about texting keywords to 2929 using their Smart and TNT phones in the event of disasters.
“Let’s incorporate the culture of readiness in our daily routine,” said Paredes.
Smart Communications through its value brand, TNT, is bringing its “Tropang Ready” country-wide disaster preparedness caravan to schools to promote the culture of preparedness among the youth.
This is the latest enhancement of Smart’s disaster preparedness caravan launched in 2013 to help communities, families and individuals in high-risk areas prepare for emergencies and disasters through engaging workshops and activities.