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Legarda Reminds Public on Disaster Preparedness

July 10, 2015

Even as Typhoons Egay and Falcon have exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility, Senator Loren Legarda today said that government agencies and the public should remain vigilant and maintain preparedness to prevent disasters that could be caused by incessant rains.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, said that as PAGASA warned of monsoon rains, communities should remain prepared against flooding and landslides especially since the continuing rains could cause the rise of water levels in dams and rivers.

“Metro Manila, Bulacan, Zambales, Cavite, Batangas and Bataan are still under the yellow rainfall warning according to PAGASA. Local government units in this area should regularly monitor updates and enforce evacuation if needed,” said Legarda as she noted that the recent rains have caused at least five fatalities. The victims were either hit by collapsed walls or died of drowning.

In line with this, the Senator reminded the public and LGUs on disaster risk reduction efforts.

“Our barangays can prepare for the onslaught of typhoons without having to spend big. We have to prune tree branches, dredge esteros and canals, avoid the use of plastic bags so that these would not get stuck in waterways, segregate garbage and implement solid waste management,” said Legarda.

She added that LGUs and barangays can institute an effective but inexpensive early warning system.

“Early warning systems for disasters need not be high-tech or complicated since simple ones, such as a whistle, could prove more effective. Barangays can use whistles and come up with a code or system so that people would know what to do depending on the length and frequency of each whistle blow,” she said.

Furthermore, when hazards such as typhoons are expected, barangay officials and volunteers can do mobile patrolling to immediately alert people either to stay indoors or get ready to move to safer places. LGUs should also identify evacuation centers ahead of time.

“Disaster preparedness should be a way of life. Everyone in the community should be vigilant and ready. We must bring disaster preparedness to a heightened level because our aim is resilience and zero casualty,” Legarda concluded.