‘Imagine there’s a disaster’

DOST conducts nationwide campaign for better preparedness for natural calamities

Imagining a disaster happening before it actually happens can help local government units and communities better prepare for natural calamities and their aftermath.

This is according to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in CALABARZON leg of their series of information and education campaign (IEC).

“Possible future hazards and its effects in localities and the whole region must be imagined to craft and implement appropriate solutions,” said Renato Solidum, Ph.D., director of DOST’s Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOLCS).

“You have the most important role to be not injured, to be alive during a major event.”

He later adds that disaster preparedness, mitigation measures, and response measure must be according to the scenarios that can happen, that we can think of even before this would happen.

“So disaster imagination is important.”

Among the technologies that PHIVOLCS developed to assist local government units in their disaster imagination initiatives is the Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System (REDAS), earthquake simulation software.

It is the only semi-geographic information system software that can simulate earthquake hazards.

“It can be a database to put in the location of your houses and statistics of the houses. It can estimate the number of bodies and casualties per municipality. The concept is risk assessment. With these data, you’ll know what to do, what steps to take,” he said.

A joint project of DOST, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Office of the Civil Defense, EIC is entitled “Iba na ang Panahon: Science for Safer Communities” and will be held in all 17 regions of the Philippines. Mica De Leon

VitalSigns Issue 62 Vol. 3, April 1-30, 2014