IN A BID to inculcate disaster preparedness among students, Smart Communications has partnered with the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) to educate students on how to respond to calamities.

The program, dubbed "Talk N’ Text (TNT) Tropang Ready Disaster Preparedness Caravan," was launched on Monday, February 13. It aims to teach students how to apply safety and survival measures during calamities like typhoons, floods, tsunamis, storm surges, earthquakes, and landslides, and increase their capability to prepare and manage impact during and quickly recover from these disasters.

Darwin Flores, Smart department head for community partnerships, said USTP is the first school in Mindanao they have partnered with after the big flashflood last January 16.

USTP is the most flood-affected school in the city, with hundreds of students trapped inside the school as the flood waters reached waist to neck-deep level.

Cagayan de Oro was placed under a state of calamity after as thousands of residents had to evacuate and 7 casualties were reported.

Flores said Smart wants to have a long-term relationship with USTP and incorporate disaster preparedness in the school curriculum through its National Service Training Program (NSTP).

"Dito sa USTP, we are giving practical tips to students handled by the emergency resource natin and sa Project NOAH andito din sila, this is to really get the students' attention, and hopefully we can tap the school's extension programs, hopefully, the NSTP program. We want to utilize the mechanism in schools so students can spread the message too in their communities," he said.

Wawa Dumaguita, extension and community relations director of USTP, said the university is looking forward for the positive partnership with Smart. She said this is important so students, during disasters, will not panic.

Smart Communications, through its value brand TNT, seeks to promote the culture of preparedness among the youth by bringing it Tropang Ready Disaster Preparedness Caravan to schools nationwide, and help communities, families, and individuals in high-risk areas prepare for emergencies and disasters.