CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- SM malls in Pampanga and Bulacan joined the recent Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED), a quarterly National Distaste Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC)-led activity that seeks to educate the public on disaster preparedness against earthquakes and to showcase government capability on disaster response.

SM malls in Pampanga and San Fernando Downtown held simulations on earthquake and evacuation participated by employees, tenants and staff on its continuous promotion in providing education and awareness to its frontliners and partners on these natural and/or man-made catastrophe by conducting regular seminars on safety and evacuation.

In SM Pampanga, a total of 1,121 participants including customers, tenants/affiliates, BPO and SM employees and agencies participated in the drill.

Local government partners present were Bureau of Fire Protection Mexico (BFP) headed by SI Josie Lising, BFP City of San Fernando CI Roderick Marquez, Philippine National Police (PNP) City of San Fernando headed by Chief of Police Rolan Agohob, and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) headed by Marku Antonio, who have been training and in close coordination with SM Pampanga for eight years on earthquake and fire simulation, and Barangay Masamat headed by Captain Ryan David.

SM Savemore Market Apalit regularly holds seminar for its tenants on the proper Dock, Cover and Hold position in times of earthquake and evacuation.

At SM City Clark, agency personnel, tenants, BPOs, Park Inn, SM employees and mall customers, participated in the ongoing quarterly campaign of the nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill to carry off the company’s commitment in intensifying awareness, preparedness, logistics and capability of the mall and its personnel in handling disaster situations.

The Earthquake and evacuation drill will increase the chances of better recovery and implementation of contingencies in the event of earthquakes.  The event also aims to evaluate the disaster response skills of the team.

The people who stood as support groups were the Angeles City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and Bureau of Fire Angeles. The importance of disaster preparedness and resiliency is key across SM’s operations, from its management down to the employees and mall frontliners.

In Bulacan province, SM Malls in Marilao, San Jose Del Monte, and Baliwag as well as SM Center Pulilan actively participated in the country’s NSED under the NDRRMC’s #BidaAngHanda campaign.

The actual earthquake drill took place during regular mall hours and dealt with 7.2 magnitude earthquake scenarios, the expected magnitude from the West Valley fault.

Staged at exactly 2 p.m., the drill demonstrated various crisis scenarios of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake to drive up public awareness on the proper emergency response during and after the incident.

“The drill is in preparation for the big earthquake predicted to hit the country anytime,” shared SM City Marilao Assistant Mall Manager Drev Fiesta.

Shoppers, tenants, and employees participated in the simulation as soon as the strong wailing siren signaled everyone to “duck, cover and hold”.

Evacuation and rescue drill simulations were also showed to increase and strengthen the mall’s Emergency Response Group (ERG) preparedness and coordination among tasked units. These simulations include carrying out first aid procedures to challenging mock-up situations such as severely injured victim and traumatized customers.

On top of the simultaneous nationwide earthquake drill, SM City Baliwag, SM City Marilao and SM City San Jose Del Monte as well as SM Center Pulilan also conducted the annual refresher course on its employees, tenants, and affiliates on earthquake preparedness. Topics like earthquake worst case scenarios, evacuation route, and first aid treatment were taken to build contingency plans in meeting the realities that 7.2 magnitude quake will present when it strikes.

A series of follow through earthquake drills will also be carried out on May 10, August 16 and November 15 as part of SM Supermalls’ disaster preparedness. (PR)