Bright Ideas-A A +A
By DP Limlingan
Friday, August 3, 2012
THERE is a bright idea that is crafted by not one but two government agencies that are vital in times of disasters and calamities.
The Philippine Information Agency and the Office of Civil Defense have combined their forces to let the people know situations relating to disasters such as typhoons and other weather disturbances through short messaging system (SMS) or text as known in the local lingo. The endeavor is with the support of telecommunications networks.
In a media briefing last week, PIA regional director Robert Baldago mentioned that their office will compose text messages suited for 10 million residents of the Central Luzon region.
SMS or text messaging is the most practical and fastest way to send information.
Our country to date has millions and millions of mobile phone users who are also known as text messaging expert users. We have been in fact branded as the text messaging capital of the world.
The said agencies said that text blasting or the sending of text messages to a great number of recipients will keep mobile phone users abreast with the latest information on disasters.
Among the messages that the agencies plan to send out are various advisories on typhoons, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, water release of dams, tides, suspension of classes including schedule of brown-outs.
Being informed is being armed and prepared. Pieces of information are part of the disaster preparedness program of the government since they keep people updated and are keys in making decisions when there is an impending disaster or when it strikes.
Timely and accurate information on any disasters will help people know what to do, especially during flooding. In any event of an inundation, people who are informed can take action such as evacuating to higher ground.
Typhoon signals will let people know what to prepare for and when to prepare, depending on the typhoon strength and directions.
When informed, people will know how to avoid danger. In addition, they will be made aware of what is happening within their locality and how to adapt to any situation. Being informed is being prepared indeed.
Dir. Josie Timoteo of the OCD-Central Luzon region, meanwhile, said that advisories are part of the early warning systems during times of disasters. She stated that through text blasting, residents of Central Luzon can easily be reached by alerts and advisories.
In addition to text messaging, the said national government agencies shall likewise utilize another popular form of communication today -- social networking. Facebook and Twitter will likewise be used in sending out information to people. The said social networking sites are perhaps the most popular which are accessed worldwide by billions of people.
The said efforts of the said agencies are commendable. They are doing their jobs. They help save lives and properties by keeping the people informed with their focus on disaster preparedness.
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Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 03, 2012.