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‘Culture of preparedness a must amid looming disasters’

June 23, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda renewed her appeal to the public to develop a culture of preparedness and safety to prevent huge number of casualties when a major earthquake, or the so-called Big One strikes..

“Everyone should be ready when the ‘Big One’ occurs. Government agencies and all public institutions must be prepared,” Legarda said.

“There should be an effective early warning system and massive information and education campaign to equip us with knowledge on what to do before, during and after such disasters,” she stressed.

Legarda made the call following the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) 2nd Metro Manila Shake Drill — a simulation of situations that might occur in the event a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hits Metro Manila.

REGULAR DRILLS, STRUCTURAL UPKEEP

She said she would file a bill that would mandate the regular conduct of fire and earthquake drills in all public establishments, especially in schools and hospitals in the 17th upcoming Congress.

The senator also said there should be regular evaluation and retrofitting of public and private infrastructure to ensure that buildings, bridges and other similar structures can withstand strong earthquakes.

LGU INVOLVEMENT

Local government units (LGUs), including barangay officials, she said should also determine open spaces where people can seek safe refuge should earthquakes occur.

LGUs, she added, should craft evacuation plans that would help the people find out the fastest and safest way to reach open spaces and other safe areas.

Drills, she said, should also include practice and instructions concerning the location, use and operation of emergency exits, fire escapes, doors, and fire extinguishers and other facilities provided for such purpose in buildings as well as the proper evacuation of buildings by persons in the event of fires and earthquakes.

Source: Manila Bulletin