Davao’s disasters, calamities preparedness improved, official says

Jul. 09, 2015

DAVAO CITY – An official of this city’s Emergency Response’s Central 911 said on Thursday that the city has improved in terms of preparation for disasters and calamities.

“As compared to previous years, especially during what happened in Matina Pangi in 2011, we have improved a lot. Not only in national level inputs, but the city as well, in terms of preparation or early warning,” said Central 911 chief operating officer Emmanuel Jaldon.

“We have river monitoring stations which will give us early warnings,” he added.

Jaldon said that the people living in barangays near or along the rivers are also trained and prepared for calamities and emergencies.

“They already have early warning systems in place like the electronic siren,” he said.

He added that they are not only preparing for flashfloods and typhoons, but also for earthquakes.

Jaldon also said that the city has adequate equipment to address the day-to-day emergencies.

“Equipment is relative, but in terms of preparation, it really depends on the severity or degree of devastation,” he said.

“Remember, we have I think almost two million people in Davao City. You just can’t imagine the enormous number (of people) in a disaster scenario. That is really difficult,” he added.

The Central 911 will conduct exercises that will involve different agencies to simulate the actual scenario of a disaster.

“For this month, we are actually focusing on the earthquake drill. We will be joining the simultaneous national earthquake drill which will be held on July 23,” said Jaldon.

Central 911, together with the Task Force Davao and other rescue units, will focus on emergency response and evacuation.

Jaldon said that although the level of preparedness of the responders is high, the people’s awareness and participation is low.

“That is why we are doing this evacuation exercise for tsunami and earthquake to see and determine the level of preparedness and awareness of the barangays,” he said.

He said that it is important that an individual or a family has to have their own plan and preparation for disasters.

He added that recovery and stabilization would be easier if everyone is prepared.(davaotoday.com)

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