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Youth to benefit from TNT disaster preparedness caravan

by SMART Public Affairs | Dec 05, 2016
With an average of 20 typhoons hitting the Philippines every year, it is important for anyone who lives in high-risk areas to be prepared when calamity strikes. It is for this reason that mobile leader Smart Communications, through its value brand TNT, has rolled out its disaster preparedness caravan to schools nationwide, precisely to promote the culture of preparedness among the youth.

With an average of 20 typhoons hitting the Philippines every year, it is important for anyone who lives in high-risk areas to be prepared when calamity strikes. It is for this reason that mobile leader Smart Communications, through its value brand TNT, has rolled out its disaster preparedness caravan to schools nationwide, precisely to promote the culture of preparedness among the youth.

Dubbed, “Tropang Ready”, the learning series was recently conducted at Batangas State University (BatSU) and was attended by over two thousand students and members of the academe. It is the newest enhancement of Smart’s disaster preparedness caravan launched in 2013, to help communities, families and individuals in high-risk areas to prepare for emergencies and disasters through engaging workshops and activities.

Aside from learning sessions, attendees were able to meet and greet the TNT Tropa, participate in booth activities and games, and view Smart’s disaster-readiness educational video series especially designed for the youth. The video series entitled “Maging Laging Handa,” covers precautionary measures and safety tips for various calamities such as typhoons, floods, tsunamis, storm surges, earthquakes and landslides.

“This year, Smart and TNT’s disaster preparedness campaign focuses on high school and college students in disaster-prone areas. We want to tell you that it takes team effort--a tropa effort,” said Darwin Flores, Department Head for Community Partnerships at Smart. “You spend more time in school than anywhere else and that’s why we want to show you how important it is for everyone to be prepared. It is best to prepare as diligently and as thoroughly as you do for your school quizzes and exams,” Flores added.

“BatSU is proud and honored to host the inaugural Tropang Ready session. This is aligned with our current efforts to promote the culture of preparedness in our school and will allow us to build a safer school community,” said Romeo de Castro, BatSU Director of Extension Services.

Learning how to build a #SafePH the Smart way

The highlight of the caravan was the series of talks from key influencers in the areas of science and preparedness.

Disaster expert Louie Domingo of Emergency Management Center, a partner of Smart for its disaster preparedness initiatives, gave a practical lecture on what to do in case disaster strikes. He gave different pointers for different types of disasters such as earthquakes, floods and landslides, including how the “duck, cover, hold” technique for earthquakes would be more stable. Domingo also shared how to build one’s ”Go Bag,”--a kit which is meant to help an individual or a family survive the next 72 hours after of a storm, an earthquake, and other kinds of disasters. It must include a flashlight, a bottle of water, mobile phone, big garbage bag, t-shirt, battery for flashlight and other essentials. 

Other speakers during the event were Rio Marasigan of Project NOAH--the Philippines' primary disaster risk reduction and management program under the Department of Science and Technology, Jones Lizardo of the Batangas Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, Jerick Czar Atienza of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) of Batangas City, and Red Dimalibot of TNT.

Culture of preparedness

Smart as a company has embraced preparedness, and has been actively promoting the culture of preparedness to various communities under its #SafePH advocacy. It holds nationwide disaster preparedness caravans and trainings to help strengthen capacities of communities to prepare for, manage, and recover from the impact of disasters.

Smart has gone beyond providing emergency communications to disaster-stricken communities. It has been actively working with local government units and various partners to build the capacities of high-risk communities to prepare for, manage and bounce back from disasters.

Smart also offers a web-based disaster communications solution called Smart Infocast, which has been proven effective in disseminating weather forecasts and warnings, and has been consistent in providing immediate “libreng tawag” services to areas affected by disasters.