Disaster preparedness practices of schools worth emulating

Emergency situations are inevitable. It is just a matter of time when it will happen but it should not be a reason for our lives to stop and live in fear. We just have to prepare for it. We already know that it is coming, we need to be ready for it.

To inculcate the culture of disaster preparedness in the hearts and minds of the learners might be challenging, but these schools, through the leadership of their school heads and school DRRM coordinators, made it look simple and fun.

Linabo Central School, under the leadership of its School Principal, Benjamin M. Buhawe, and School DRRM Coordinator, Helen P. Daus, was able to produce two spine boards made of plyboards at a very low cost. According to Mr. Buhawe, the cost of the two spine boards with individual straps is only Php 1,500.00 pesos.  The cost of the cheapest commercial spine board made of plastic in the city is Php 7,000.00 pesos each.

One of the problems encountered by most schools is that everytime they have emergency sign boards or important safety signages, they are usually destroyed due to weather or playful behavior of the students. Linabo CS was able to overcome this by painting signages on the walls of their gates, buildings, and even pathways.

If there is an award to most participative students during drills, students of Aglayan Central School will most likely have that award. The school devised an award system for students who have outstanding participation during drills. They even made their students look forward to drills as they want to play the role of victims. The practice is actually started by the previous school head, Leny G. Ama and is being continued by the current school head, Teofilo L. Ontoy, Jr.

The makeup of the victims during drill is also excellent that it almost seemed real. This will not happen without the expertise of the schools DRRM coordinator, Rosie Car V. Abonado who was a former employee of the city’s emergency rescue unit. Anatolio Abellanosa of City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office praised the acting of the students. He said that the students were really true to their acting even in  the emergency transport vehicle.

Many schools also make 2D and 3D hazard mapping in schools a trend in the Division during the school watching and hazard mapping activity. Lawrence I. Balandra, School DRRM Coordinator of Casisang Senior High School, started the trend through Facebook. This was even intensified by Nuela S. Lucine, Teacher II of the same school, when she integrated DRRM in her class. “Outputs of the students were really astonishing,” she commented. “These activities will not be possible without the support of the School Head, Romeo T. Valdez,” she added.

But among the schools who made 2D or 3D hazard maps, only Macote Elementary School has it maintained up to the fourth quarter of this year. School Head, Ricky Barcena sought the importance of hazard map in their school. That is why he also have 4ft x 6ft tarpaulin-print version of it posted outside his office for everyone to see.

May these practices inspire other schools in the Division to do more in their disaster preparedness activities.

By: Jimdandy S. Lucine
        Project Development Officer II