In November, Benguet Province’s festival ‘Adivay’ was celebrated with a heavy heart, but full of hope, as it reminds us to be strong after the disaster, through its theme: “Benguet Culture – Unity, Industry, Prosperity: Managing Adversities with excellence thru enhanced Indigenous Resilience”. The celebration was full of traditional prayers for a single goal: A Disaster free Benguet in the future.
In order to attain the goal, you can always help. In your own simple way, manage or eliminate the Hazard you see, so that nothing will ever become a Disaster. This is what the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management of La Trinidad is doing now through various programs, projects, and activities. When the hazard can’t be eliminated, at least make everyone prepare for its adverse effects or ensure the resiliency of the community.
anything yet, I think there is still a confusion on what the word Hazards and
Disasters means to everyone. As I always emphasize during my lectures on topics
for Preparedness, we do not want to use the word ‘Disaster’. This word is only
used to indicate that there is Loss of Lives and Damages to Properties that
happened, and we don’t want that, or do you?
So what word
caused by Hazards. So, when you don’t want a Disaster, you have to know a lot
about Hazards, talk about it, manage it properly, or, better yet, eliminate it.
those that can cause a Disaster. There can be no Disaster if there are no
Hazards. Steep slopes around your home’s yard is an example. Hanging boulders,
Denudated Forests, Clogged Canals, Dilapidated Roofs of your house, Electrical
Wirings, etc. are some. When these are not managed, eliminated, or fixed, it
may cause severe damage which will already be called a Disaster.
Now, since the
Philippines is Located in the Pacific Ring of Fire and Pacific Typhoon Belt, we
do have a lot of bigger hazards to manage, aside from those mentioned above.
Weather Disturbances such as Typhoons is on the top list, followed by
Earthquakes, and Volcanic Eruptions.
Of course you
cannot stop Typhoons or earthquakes. But you can still do something so that these
Hazards won’t become a Disaster. You can always prepare! There is a lot of time
before a Hazard becomes a Disaster (if it should). Recall TY Ompong – Public
advisories were disseminated and preparations were done before it arrived.
Class Suspended, Liquor Banned, etc., even when there is no rain yet, to give
time to preparations for the hazards, so it won’t cause a Disaster.
preparations in your home is the first best thing to do to prevent a disaster
from happening: Know your Hazard; Transfer your valuable things where there’s
no flooding; Always ensure free flow of water on Canals; Construct your slope
protections on steep slopes; Purchase supplies and equipment that you need;
Have a Go Bag that is available anytime; be sure to have the complete set of
emergency numbers to call, just in case; and better evacuate as early when the
typhoon has not yet arrived. Consider your experience during TY Ompong.
Remember that Balili River overflowed causing flood in the Valley and mountains
saturated causing massive landslide everywhere.
Farms too: Fix its drainage system, Use materials that can resist strong wind
and rains, reduce steep slopes, and avail of available crop insurance to make
sure that you will have something to start with, in case hazards will damage
your crops. (You may contact The Office
of the Municipal Agriculturist for assistance).
When in other
areas you are not so familiar with, (i.e. Swimming pools, Beach, Resorts,
Training Halls, Restaurants, Hotels, Tourist Destinations, etc.) prioritize to
learn the hazards upon arrival and know how to get away from them by looking
for possible escape routes and emergency numbers.
Preventing Disaster is possible when Hazards are managed. Start the
practice this Yuletide Season. Avoid the hazards, or eliminate them, and your
Celebration will be the best that it can be.