Schools, offices, and business establishments across the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) participate in the first quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) on February 15, 2018.
At exactly 2:00 in the afternoon on Thursday, participating institutions simultaneously sound their alarm systems signifying the start of the drill. A total of 277,481 individuals from Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, and Mt Province perform Duck-Cover-Hold technique then execute evacuation procedures.
NSED is an activity led by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) that seeks to educate the public on disaster preparedness against earthquakes and showcase capacity on disaster response.
“One of our aims why we are conducting this quarterly drill is to test the efficiency and effectiveness of contingency plans or emergency plans of Local DRRMCs and other participating organizations” remarked Dir. Andrew Alex Uy, Regional Director of Office of Civil Defense CAR.
Dir. Uy reiterated that the NDRRMC releases updated evaluation mechanisms to look at the functionality of the organizations’ disaster control groups or DRRM committees, and the execution of the drill itself following the phases and stages of drill as prescribed by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).
In Baguio City, there are 300 umpires in different locations to assess the drill. Personnel from Bureau Fire Protection, Philippine National Police, Department of Health, local responders, and various communications groups including School DRRM coordinators from the Department of Education.
Based on the umpires’ evaluation, participants have initiated to craft their contingency plan particularly on their resources, alarm system, and evacuation procedures. Although most of them are aware on their evacuation areas, umpires said that some of the plans need enhancement especially on their resources.
Participating institutions are given the chance to improve their emergency plans since there are three (3) more drills to be conducted this year. According to NDRRMC, the second quarter NSED is scheduled on May.
OCD Press Release, by: Samanthan Laron and Maruf Abdullah, interns