Disaster Preparedness and risk management


DENR-1 conducts IEC on disaster preparedness and risk management

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 1 conducted Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) campaign on disaster management in celebration of the National Disaster Consciousness Month which has the theme, “Pamilya at Pamayanang Handa: Katuwang sa Pag-unlad ng Bansa”.

Orientation on Hazard Management

DENR 1 invited the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Region 1 to facilitate the earthquake preparedness orientation conducted during the Monday Convocation last August 10, 2015 at the main lobby.

The said orientation aims to equip the employees with the knowledge and skills on Hazard Management with emphasis on Earthquake Preparedness.

OCD Assistant Regional Director (ARD) Imelda M. Acosta underscored the importance of developing an earthquake evacuation plan, carrying out an earthquake drill and establishing a Disaster Control Group (DCG). According to ARD Acosta, these precautionary measures will ensure the safety of everybody during and after a damaging earthquake and train the building occupants on proper action and response during a disaster.

In addition to this, the officer explained the six (6) phases of the earthquake drill that building occupants must follow. These include ALARM or ringing of bell; RESPONSE, wherein the employees will perform duck, cover, and hold position during the shaking; EVACUATION; ASSEMBLY; HEAD COUNT, to make sure all the ‘evacuees’ or employees are accounted for; and lastly, EVALUATION, to identify problems encountered.

The employees were also reminded to be alert and watch out for falling debris during earthquake and were warned to refrain from running, pushing, talking, and returning to the office or building to bring things.

ARD Acosta also suggested to invite representatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Department of Health (DOH), Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to evaluate the simulation exercises. It is important to inform the neighboring offices about the drill to avoid confusion, she concluded.

Media interviews

In a related event, a series of media interviews were conducted with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) by media organizations such as ABS-CBN Northern Luzon and Bombo Radyo La Union. In the said interviews, MGB Regional Director Carlos Tayag discussed the cause and effects of flooding in the Province of La Union which was declared under state of calamity last July 6, 2015.

RD Tayag pointed out that cutting of trees may have an effect one way or another to inundation. But then, he expressed that the cause of the landslide and the flooding is the continuous rains. “Actually here in San Fernando, we have experienced almost 24-hour continuous rains. With that scenario, definitely our river systems will swell. Water could not go out to the West Philippine Sea because it is either high tide or sometimes our river systems are already silted and other sediments should be removed,” he added.

Ms. Vilma Viceno, OIC Geosciences Division of MGB emphasized that they are continuously conducting geo hazard assessments in different local government units in La Union where they issue recommendations including informing them on the critical areas of their city/municipality. Through close coordination with the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau carry out intensive information campaigns on landslides and flooding.

During the observance of the National Disaster Consciousness Month, MGB provided advisories, list of landslide/erosion/flood prone areas in all municipalities in Region 1. They also provided digitized copies of landslide and flood prone susceptibility maps based on the results of 1:50,000 scale geohazard assessments of MGB personnel.

Lectures on Understanding Geohazards and Disaster Preparedness, Reading and Understanding a Geohazard Map, Disaster Risk Reduction to various LGUs, academe, NGOs and private companies were conducted.

IEC materials such as posters, brochures/flyers, hand-outs, and maps were distributed to LGUs, students, clienteles etc. (Divine Joy DG. Picar/Maria Eliza C. Fontanilla/Felisandelle C. De Vera)