‘Disaster prep should start at home’ – Bukidnon prof

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 28 Aug) – Awareness for disaster risk and reduction management should start at the household level, a professor at a state university here told fellow teachers during a seminar-workshop Wednesday.

“Do not assume that accident and disaster cannot reach your door step. Prepare for it,” Rhondell M. Paraiso, head of the Bukidnon State University-City Disaster Management Unit (CDMU), told hundreds of fellow members of the BSU Faculty Association (BSUFA).

In his presentation during the Gender Empowerment Disaster Preparedness Seminar-Workshop organized by BSUFA as the third leg of its Pulaguy Magnanau, Tree Growing and Disaster Preparedness (Run, Plant, and Prepare) project, Paraiso stressed that when disaster strikes, people have to face it as if they are on their own.

He clarified that localities trained their rescue response groups but “they will take care of their lives and their own families first” so residents should plan their own response in the event of disaster”.

Paraiso said that if people value their family, they should not ignore the importance of preparedness in their homes.

In the workshop, Paraiso guided BSUFA members in crafting their “personal survival plan,” which contains basic information on disaster response at household level. The two-page guide asked participants to provide information on “who brings what” or who among the members of the family will bring what or who when disaster strikes.

It also guided participants on the need to plan at household level where to meet, where to go, and who to call for help depending on what man-made or natural disaster strikes. The participants were also asked to plan evacuation routes in their house and on how to activate “emergency medical service.”

Before the seminar-workshop, BSUFA members took part in a fun run early morning en route to the Provincial Tree Park area near the Gawad Kalinga village in the city’s Brgy 9, site of its tree growing project where about 500 Mahogany seedlings were planted.

The seminar-workshop also covered discussions on classroom-level disaster risk reduction and management.

Dr. Lorenzo Dinlayan III, BSUFA president, said it was their gesture of support to the province’s centennial celebration. But he assured that it was not a one-shot deal. Dinlayan said they will return to the site starting in November to ensure the seedlings are well attended.

BSUFA organized the project, which was BSU’s initiative for the celebration of the centennial of the founding of the province of Bukidnon, in cooperation with the university’s Gender and Development Unit.

Aside from the BSUFA project, BSU also has its share in the preparations for the Centennial celebration. Led by Dr. Victor M. Barroso, university president, BSU heads the Centennial celebration’s information, promotion, and documentation committee. BSU classrooms will also be used to accommodate hundreds of performers and other delegations from Bukidnon’s 20 towns and two cities who will gather in the city for centennial/festival highlight events.