So, our module centered on the management of risks and emergencies. Without a doubt, the Philippines is a disaster-prone area, we are visited by as many as 20 typhoons every year so, yes, it is crucial that we prepare for the worst.
Who knew that there was so much to learn when talking about disaster and emergencies? I never realized that risk reduction could include a lot of things – from the relocation of schools from fault lines, shorelines, and other hazard-prone areas; to reforestation efforts; and wetland protection.
I now have a higher appreciation for the Brigada Eskwela program that has parents and students as volunteers in doing minor school repairs. I must admit that I never looked at it as a means of preventing emergencies.
My Family’s Participation
I took the liberty of posting here an initiative that was started by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church also known as Mormons). As members, we have been counseled to store food and to prepare for emergencies. This preparation includes creating our own 72-hour kit. This is a kit is the kind that you can take with you should there be a need to evacuate one’s home. As parents, we are also encouraged to prepare kits for our children.
Take a careful look at the list above. The 72-hour kit packs – in one backpack – all the equipment, clothing, bedding, fuel, personal documents, water, medicines and food. Read more about our 72-hour kit here.
You might wonder why we named the kit a 72-hour kit? Studies have shown that it takes 72 hours, on average, to respond to disaster-stricken areas. That’s three days of sustenance while waiting for help.
There is no single correct kit that can be organized by a member. The foods differ according to the preferences of the one carrying the kit. The basics such as medicines, water and equipment must all be met, though.
As a family, we bought four backpacks especially for this program. We also taught our 14-year old and 11-year old kids what they need to do in case of an earthquake, fire, and floods (though our home is at a slightly elevated zone).
Armed with new knowledge, we can now prepare against natural, even man-induced risks. Improved knowledge is not sufficient, though. Just like the 72-hour kit, we need to put into practice what we learned. Application and effective use of risk management could spell saved lives, less to zero injuries, and even the prevention of asset loss.