Public Awareness on DRRM


Disasters often follow natural hazards and the public must be aware & knowledgeable of Disaster Risk Reduction Management. A disaster’s severity depends on how much impact a hazard has on society and the environment. Disaster risk reduction is the concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyze and reduce the causal factors of disasters. Reducing exposure to hazards, lessening vulnerability of people and property, wise management of land and the environment, and improving preparedness and early warning for adverse events are all examples of disaster risk reduction.

The general population has to know and be aware of these processes and practices of disaster risk reduction management. There are several areas that which may help not only on awareness but also to reduce the vulnerabilities and better prepare to both respond and recover from disasters.

First up is knowledge. As the saying goes “Knowledge is Power” can also be applied to this scenario. Know the hazards, vulnerabilities, and risk in the area, if possible by barangay. One activity that Pavia can adopt as related to Iloilo City is the conduction of the Community Based Risk Assessment. This is a survey conducted per barangay which determines the historical timeline of disasters in their area, along with related data such as casualties, amount of damage in the property, etc. Next is rating each hazard (hazard severity ranking) from the top of most likely to occur to the least likely to occur. Other data were also gathered like the barangay seasonal calendar, institutional diagram, evacuation center location & details, and hazards and resources mapping.

To follow this survey, the LGU can now devise a way to conduct activities in relation to the utilizing the available data gathered. This area can be termed as integration. One example is the creation of a family disaster plan. Take time to analyze. Where will you go if you need to evacuate? Who is in charge of doing what in an emergency? Select an out of state person all the members of your family can contact if you get separated and cannot reach each other.

The next area is trust and the LGU should be able to implement this trait to the general public, given that most of them do not trust the government. Get to know those community officials like the LDRRMC who are responsible for things such as announcing mandatory evacuations. Do these officials have a good track record for announcing evacuations in a timely manner? Before disasters, identify trusted local media sources that the general public can count on to provide valuable information in the event of an emergency.

Another area backing up the awareness to DRRM is impact avoidance and it is often referred to as mitigation which includes taking actions to reduce or eliminate risks of impact during a disaster. This can include activities such as putting in levees or dykes on your property, raising your home, etc.

Adaptability is the thing in situations wherein it will not change regardless of preparedness. Come up with alternate ways to address the disaster situation when it strikes. One example is on when the Philippines Government enacted the new legislation, called the Climate Change Act of 2009, which will integrate disaster risk reduction measures into climate change adaptation plans.

A DRRM guideline can be written and published by the LGU and to the related agencies, and a layman version to be shared to the general public. Orientation can be done in barangay gatherings and in public schools and be followed up by related activities and simulation exercises such as fire or earthquake drill.

Categories : HQ and Office Affairs