Mandaue enhances disaster preparedness, installs air raid sirens

Mandaue enhances  disaster preparedness, installs air raid sirens
Logo grabbed from Mandaue City PIO's Facebook

TO BOOST its preparedness against earthquake and other disasters, the Mandaue City government has installed three air raid sirens (ARS) in key locations to alert residents of disasters.

These sirens have already been set up at the Mandaue City Hall building and the parking building, with plans for further installations at the City Social Welfare and Services Office.

Buddy Alain Ybañez, head of the Mandaue City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said the goal is to equip all government buildings in the city and its 27 barangays with ARS by next year.

The sirens at the city hall and parking building were activated on July 1, marking the start of National Resilience Month.

The ARS is designed to produce a loud sound audible up to one kilometer away, providing an immediate alert to the population in case of an impending disaster.

Ybañez advised residents to “duck, cover, and hold” when they hear the siren, and to evacuate only after the siren stops.

“The long siren sound indicates the need to duck, cover, and hold. Once the siren stops, that’s the signal to stand up and proceed to the evacuation area,” Ybañez said in a mix of Cebuano and English in an interview on July 1, 2024.

The ARS can be manually activated by pressing a red button. However, for streamlined activation, the system has also been integrated with the CDRRMO’s command center.

Ybañez said the installation is funded by the city budget including the Early Warning System (EWS) installed near rivers.

Early Warning System

The EWS is equipped with cameras, speakers, and sensors to monitor river water levels and alert residents if evacuation is necessary. All EWS units are connected also to the command center for centralized monitoring.

The city boasts eight EWS units: two along Mahiga Creek in Barangay Subangdaku, and six along Butuanon River in Cabancalan, Casuntingan, Alang-Alang, Umapad, Paknaan, and in Cebu City near Villa Del Rio.

To complement the ARS installations, the CDRRMO distributed tarpaulins and conducted information and education campaigns in barangays during National Resilience Month.

These efforts aim to educate residents about preparedness measures for earthquakes, landslides, flooding, and fires.

Ybañez said this initiative is part of a broader strategy to ensure the safety and resilience of Mandaue City’s residents.

He urged the community to stay informed and prepared, stressing the importance of understanding and practicing safety measures.

The ARS installations, along with the educational campaigns, are expected to significantly boost the city’s ability to respond to and mitigate the impacts of natural disasters.

The CDRRMO continues to coordinate with the community leaders to ensure every resident is aware of safety protocols and can respond effectively in an emergency. / CAV

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