Businesses urged to form disaster preparedness plan

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014


ENTREPRENEURS need to develop a disaster preparedness plan to protect their businesses and employees from natural catastrophes similar to powerful typhoon "Yolanda", according to a world-renowned architect.

Felino Palafox Jr., also an urban planner and an environmentalist, said the Red Cross and Fire Department can provide emergency preparedness information.

"How many fire hydrants for a number of people, everybody must have a whistle, a bottle of water. We should have an evacuation plan. If fire truck (crews) can make their way only up to the 10th floor, we have to learn rappelling to be able to go down. We have to learn how to break the glass," he advised.

Palafox said manufacturing and services businesses can create such plan for their offices.

"It doesn't cost so much," he said. "It can save lives."
Palafox also underscored the need to establish round buildings with concrete roof decks.

"No parallel walls to shoreline. Build round, square or rectangular-shaped structures perpendicular or diagonal to the shoreline to slice off the wind," he said.

He also stressed the need to adopt adaptive architecture especially in areas that are flood-prone. Adoptive architecture may feature buildings or houses on stilts, the height of which should be above the level of flood that has been experienced or is projected in a particular area.

Further, Palafox said the Philippines should also build more much-needed infrastructure projects.

He explained that progressive infrastructure comprises international airports, seaports, schools and hospitals; while hard infrastructure makes up the roads and utilities.

"We use airports and seaports (facilities) to export (products)," he said, adding "The soft infrastructure is more important -the policies of the government that makes business easier, no corruption, less red tape and so on." (Philexport)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 29, 2014.

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