Editorial: Better prepared than not

IN A bid to make sure that students and personnel of public elementary and high schools in the region are ready in times of disasters, the Department of Education (DepEd) in Davao Region is looking into the possibility of staging weekly drills.

In a SunStar Davao report Tuesday, November 19, DepEd-Davao Director Evelyn Fetalvero said she will be issuing a memorandum circular that a weekly drill on various calamities in all schools to prepare the students, teaching and non-teaching personnel on the measures to be taken in times in unforeseen circumstances. These drills may be for earthquake, tsunami, fire, and even bomb explosion.

“We need to really prepare our students in those times of uncertain situation,” Fetalvero said in a press conference on Monday, November 18, at the Ritz Hotel.

Various government agencies like the Office of the Civil Defense; Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices; Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa); and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) have constantly reminded the Filipino people.

According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) disaster preparedness "refers to measures taken to prepare for and reduce the effects of disasters."

"Disaster preparedness activities embedded with risk reduction measures can prevent disaster situations and also result in saving maximum lives and livelihoods during any disaster situation, enabling the affected population to get back to normalcy within a short time period," IFRC stated.

While it may be an additional activity for the students at school, it is good to have our students and school personnel ready with the recent disasters happening. We never know when disasters will strike and what kind will it be. Therefore, it is important for us to be equipped with the basic know-how on what to do when a calamity happens.

Some may laugh at the thought that, "Well during times of disasters, we would just panic and run." However, in reality it has been proven that those who are equipped with the basics of disaster preparedness are able to calmly and smartly respond to these disasters.

Whether it will be quarterly, monthly, or weekly, it is important for institutions to have disaster preparedness activities to ensure that whatever happens, people will know what to do and act accordingly.


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