Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Disaster Preparedness

“Be Prepared!” This is the Boy Scout motto which can also be embraced by people including the government authorities to minimize the destruction wrought by disasters. The onslaught of tropical storm “Ondoy” should serve as a wake-up call for all of us to be prepared in times of calamities.

We should also be prepared to rescue ourselves and not just rely on the government to rescue us. The heart-rending sight of hundreds of people marooned and helpless on the roofs of their houses submerged in floodwaters, desperately waiting for help for hours, is an indication that the authorities were not prepared for the magnitude of this disaster.

Understandably, we cannot predict when a disaster will strike but at least we should have an emergency plan in place. I don’t want to blame anybody for their inefficiency in the face of this unforeseen disaster but if the government cannot provide a timely response and assistance to victims then they should start to focus their efforts on empowering people and train them on how to be self-reliant and protect themselves in times of disasters. Residents themselves should be prepared to rescue themselves and not rely on supposed rescue groups which may not be forthcoming or helpful in times of disaster. Communities or barangays should be trained in disaster preparedness. If we were conducting fire drills and other emergency preparedness training, we should also conduct training on what to do in case of other natural disasters and calamities. They should know where to go and what to do.

When I was still a Boy Scout, one of the many things we were taught was an emergency or disaster preparedness. I hope that this is still being taught on today’s generation of scouts. In fact, it will be better if disaster preparedness can be taught not only in scouting but also as a subject or part of the curriculum in schools nationwide.

In the tragic upshot of this disaster, we can only wish we had more efficient ways of doing things. We hope that we have a more efficient weather forecasting and a more efficient rescue and relief operations.

One saving grace is some people’s display of heroism in the midst of disasters; Filipinos showed that they care for one another. We have plenty of stories of people who risked their own lives to save their friends and the lives of complete strangers. Some people and organization sprung into action without much prodding, they volunteered and they offered help. Indeed, nations are molded by crises. And crisis also brings out the best in all of us.


Melissa said...

Here in Florida we are always in disaster mode, especially during the summer months. But we can get wildfires in the cool months, which wreak havoc too. When I lived in NY we only had to prepare during the winter, for blizzards, and power outages. It just takes a little time to put together a disaster kit, great post.

Eddie Garcia said...

Hey Buddy,
Good to see you back again! I've been missing you. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your comment. Unfortunately the Fuel Club is only in the US right now. Sorry!

This is a good post my friend and we do need to prepare ourselves for any and all disasters. If we are depending on others for our safety then we are backing up, not moving forward for self preservation. A disaster kit is a must but I'm afraid that most of us are procrastinators and will get it done in the near future, which is usually too late. I need to work on my procrastinating as well. Thanks!

Friends 4 Life!


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