Legarda Reminds: Increase Preparedness to Prevent Disasters

July 3, 2015

In observance of the National Disaster Consciousness Month, Senator Loren Legarda today reminded government authorities, communities and citizens to boost disaster resilience efforts and reiterated the need to shift from reactive efforts to proactive strategies in strengthening the country’s defenses against natural hazards and climate change.

“Most natural hazards turn into disasters because of the lack of preparedness. Preparation, not reaction, is the name of the game,” said Legarda, United Nations Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific.

The Senator said that community preparations for disasters should include regular pruning of trees, dredging of canals and esteros, and the practice of segregating garbage. She also called on communities to heed disaster warnings to prevent disasters.

Legarda stressed that both the national government and local government units (LGUs) must think long-term and do more for improved urban planning and disaster reduction.

“For one, let us look at the enforcement of building standards. Disaster resilience requires good building standards and effective enforcement. LGUs must confront the worsening floods. Thus, they must update their data on flood hazards and vulnerabilities, develop their information base on flood losses, invest in flood protection and mitigation, identify safe land for families to live in and implement the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law at full speed,” she said.

Legarda also said that regular structural evaluation of schools, hospitals, private and public buildings and bridges, and the retrofitting of these structures must be done to withstand strong temblors. The regular conduct of safety drills is also important.

“We have seen enough tragedies. Nobody can say we have not been warned. Prevention is always better than cure. We must learn from our past experiences, practice enhanced disaster preparedness, and be proactive in reducing disaster risks,” Legarda concluded.