One of the things that our internship at the National Anti-Poverty Commission taught me is the importance of disaster risk reduction and preparedness. Whenever our country is struck by massive typhoons, earthquakes or floods, people die and properties get destroyed. And then the government frantically gives the need of the devastated families. We see this chaotic scene every now and then. It’s almost as if we have accepted this as a natural phenomenon, when in fact there are ways to minimize the damages.
What we need to focus on is preparedness. Surely, the government can keep responding, albeit not well, to the damages that these calamities have left in its wake. But it will be so much better if everyone will not be scrambling and running for their lives when disasters strike. Instead, we should build strong houses on safe places that will withstand any calamity. We should avoid living near hazard prone areas. We could clean the waterways and plant trees. We could reduce, reuse and recycle. The community could have a warning system that indicates whenever it is time to evacuate. There are also services like the Project NOAH that gives information on the possible occurrences of floods, landslides and others.
There is so much that we can do to lessen the damages of calamities. But when will we learn to do such things? When will we get to the point where disasters do not leave us homeless and devastated?
Lizaso, Shaun Erycka