Residents of Ormoc City in the province of Leyte are no strangers to calamities.
The province has been battered by typhoons, landslides and earthquakes, the most recent of which was the magnitude 6.5 quake that shook Jaro town on July 6.
Efforts have been made to instill preparedness among the residents, especially the youth.
To further strengthen the youth’s response to calamities, Smart Communications Inc. recently conducted a disaster preparedness caravan for students in Ormoc.
Smart joined the Department of Education (DepEd) – Ormoc City Division’s First Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Camp, with the theme “4Ks: Kamalayan sa Kahandaan, Katumbas ay Kaligtasan.”
Students and school personnel from Ormoc City high schools gathered at Genaro B. Lureñana High School to learn about preparedness from Emergency Management Center’s Louie Domingo, who demonstrated the proper way to do the “duck, cover, hold” technique and shared the contents of a “Go Bag”: a flashlight, bottle of water, mobile phone, garbage bag, T-shirt, flashlight battery, and other essentials.
The attendees also watched Smart’s “Maging Laging Handa” video series, which presents safety tips through educational and entertaining song-and-dance numbers and features performances by both actors and puppets.
“One way to teach the idea of preparedness is to start with students because they are able to extend the lesson to their families. When families are informed, this translates to better prepared communities,” said Ramon Isberto, PLDT and Smart public affairs group head.
For Emma Elarde and Christine Marie Cortes, senior high school students in Ormoc, the DRRM camp reinforced what they already knew about disaster preparedness.
“We were in school when the earthquake struck. We did the duck, cover and hold routine, which we learned during an earthquake drill a week before,” said Elarde. “This event will definitely help us learn more about what to do in times of emergencies,” added Cortes.
As part of its #SafePH advocacy, Smart promotes the use of technology to help mitigate disaster risk in communities.