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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesFriday, June 8, 2012
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Disaster preparedness bolstered

A contingency planning workshop for Dumaguete officials was conducted by the Corporate Network for Disaster Response and Smart Communications Inc. recently.

The workshop is part of the company’s campaign to boost the disaster readiness of the city with the onset of the typhoon season, a press release from the company said.

It aims to assist typhoon and flood–prone communities in developing disaster preparedness plans and conducting emergency response measures in times of natural calamities, the press release said.

Dumaguete city and barangay officials and personnel from the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council were trained by disaster risk management officers of Albay, that is considered one of the provinces with the most advanced disaster preparedness strategies, the press release said.

Emphasized during the training-workshop were the importance of early warning systems such as rain gauges and water-level sensors, communication protocols in times of natural disasters, and proper evacuation procedures, the press release said.

Joe Chu Jr. of CDRRMC Dumaguete, said tropical storm “Sendong” that struck Visayas and Mindanao last year made them realize the value of disaster preparedness. He said the Sendong incident and the earthquake in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental, were eye-opening events where they learned that Dumaguete is not really untouchable by calamities.

Similar disaster preparedness activities were also held in selected barangays of Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and Marikina, the press release also said.

Other disaster preparedness and mitigation initiatives included the use of Infoboard web-SMS community messaging system to manage communications in times of disasters; and the reforestation and rehabilitation of forests, watersheds and mangrove areas.

The company is also working with the Department of Science and Technology and the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration to develop a fully connected weather monitoring and flood forecasting system by agreeing to install 600 rain gauges in its cell sites nationwide, the press release added.*

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