Disaster preparedness, a continuing education process

By: LEANDRIA P. PAGUNSAN

DUMAGUETE CITY, February 5 (PIA) — The clergy, religious and lay members of the Diocese of Dumaguete underwent a one-day Disaster Preparedness Training in collaboration with Smart Communications at the Marian Priests’ Center of the Cathedral Parish recently.

Invited resource speaker is Dr. Cedric Daep, Chief Officer, APSEMO and Technical Consultant, Corporate Network for Disaster Response (CNDR) and staff.

Dr. Daep cited RA 10121 mandating all local government units to institutionalize a Disaster Risk Management Office with trained staff notwithstanding changes in leadership.

Daep talked on Disaster Risk Reduction/Climate Change Adaptation and Earthquake Hazard Awareness to almost 100 clergy and religious members of the Diocese of Dumaguete and Siquijor.

Among the topics discussed were dangers and impacts of disasters, preparedness & mitigation, communication and mobilization in times of disaster.

In case a Tusunami happens, go inland and proceed to a higher ground elevation. The occurrence of an earthquake has no warning, that’s why people should consider preparedness and mitigation as a way of life, he said.

According to Daep, communication is very vital in times of disaster. A communication protocol from an official source such as the PAG-ASA is encouraged and made it as basis for issuance of advisory to the public.

Sign signals are also important especially to fishermen who are at sea during typhoons and tsunami.

Emphasizing on timely and accurate information, the broadcast media plays an important role because people listen to them for the latest update.

Another fast and effective way of disseminating information is through the infoboard just like what the province of Albay is doing with the support of Smart Communications.

The church can also be a dependable source of information because people look up to priests as their spiritual leaders and consider the churches as refuge during disasters, the speaker noted.

Daep then encouraged the different Dioceses to organize their Social Action Centers with trained staff on camp management. Collaborate with the government and establish partnership with NGOs and other strong organizations in the community.

Finally Daep encouraged the public especially the PDRRMC, MDRRMC on the importance of replicating the Disaster Preparedness Plan to the lowest level in their respective cities/municipalities and barangays.

“Disaster preparedness is a continuous learning and education process, therefore impact of disaster can be minimized if people are properly informed and prepared at all times,” said Daep. (mbcn/LPagunsan/PIA-7/Negros Oriental)

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