Thursday, June 23, 2016

Shake Drill

Shake Drill (Day 43)

by Rey Laguda

(This is the 43rd day of 50-day journey of DepEd Undersecretary Rey Laguda as being serialized here with his permission, culled from his Facebook account - Blogger/owner)

I move from the impacts of a disaster to how we can prepare for one.

Yesterday, the Shake Drill was conducted in the National Capital Region as part of the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED).

Usec Laguda taking cover under the office table
Usec Laguda
In particular, this drill for NCR is intended as a preparedness measure in consideration of East and West Valley faults. Based on potential scenarios combining exposure to various risks and levels of vulnerabilities, different response measures capabilities were assessed through the exercise.

However, it is also meant to raise awareness and inform people. Some may see it as an inconvenience. While it may be true, drills have a purpose - scenarios are simulated and responses are evaluated on whether they are sufficient, appropriate, realistic and successful in managing the impacts. And the success of drills is really anchored on participation.

The drills and exercises bring to our attention that there is a real risk and we should ask ourselves what we know and how prepared we are. As an individual, I need to know what I am exposed to in terms of threats. I need to understand my own vulnerabilities and capacity issues. I need to assess if I am prepared for different scenarios. As an example, if an earthquake hit Metro Manila and I was somewhere in the province for work, I would like to be assured my family is safe. I will want to know how to get back to Metro Manila. I will want to know they are safe and able to secure themselves too. The responses will be different if I was in Metro Manila at work. It would be different if it was at night.

DepEd quake drill led by Usec Laguda

The drills in schools and other activities like the earthquake preparedness homework, hazard mapping and school watching should be consistent with community-level preparedness plans. Individual preparedness is not enough. I can only hope that our plans are sufficient and in place when a disaster happens. Likewise, my faith in humanity tells me that preparedness and even post-disaster recovery cannot be characterized by individualism. There is greater success in being resilient and in recovery when people anchor themselves to their communities. Hopefully, our own preparedness and response plans are consistent and linked with our community plans.

Stay safe and prepared everyone!



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