Corporate Social Responsibility

MORE INSIDE THIS SECTION

SLSU students cite lessons from TNT Disaster Preparedness Caravan

by SMART Public Affairs | Mar 03, 2017
The caravan seeks to teach students about the importance of being prepared in case of emergencies through games and educational talks conducted by disaster preparedness experts from government agencies and other partner institutions.

Jasper Rosios, 17, remembers the day Supertyphoon “Yolanda” hit his hometown in Sogod, Leyte, in November 2013.

“I experienced flooding during Yolanda. The flood outside our home was knee-high. Days after that, there were no classes, and the river nearby was brown in color,” said Rosios in Filipino.

“During that time, it was harsh but we were able to cope,” the Southern Leyte State University (SLSU) student said. “My parents told us it happened to them before. They told us to just relax, it’s natural (for these things to happen) because we’re here in the Philippines.”

Years later, Rosios is reminded of the challenging conditions his family faced during Yolanda, one of the most intense cyclones to hit the Philippines, as he attends the TNT Tropang Ready Disaster Preparedness Caravan held recently at his university.

Rosios together with more than 600 SLSU students participated in the third leg of the disaster preparedness caravan, which was organized by Smart Communications through its value brand TNT.

The caravan seeks to teach students about the importance of being prepared in case of emergencies through games and educational talks conducted by disaster preparedness experts from government agencies and other partner institutions.

Apart from lectures, the participants also learned about disaster preparedness through interactive booths, games and other activities that put emphasis on disaster risk reduction management and practices, such as lessons on rainwater harvesting, the importance of having a Go Bag emergency kit at all times, and how to make a paracord bracelet, which can come in handy during emergencies.

“I learned a lot from today’s activity. First of all I learned about water harvesting,” said Rosios. “In other countries, they already do water harvesting using pipes or recycled items at home. I also learned the T-shirt folding technique and realized it could be so easy.”

Rosios said the lessons shared during the caravan “enhanced what I already know when it comes to being prepared during typhoons, floods or earthquakes.”

Jason Tindog, 17, another SLSU student who attended the TNT caravan, said being informed was also an important part of preparing for emergencies. “We would bring raincoats if we were told there would be rain; sometimes we improvise using cellophane.”

Tindog, however, also said that sometimes, keeping up with the news was not enough. “I watch the news to get weather updates, but what they say on the news is not exactly here in Southern Leyte; they mention only Cebu and Tacloban,” he said.

During the TNT caravan, Tindog said he learned the proper way of doing the “duck, cover and hold” technique during earthquakes. “It is important to do it properly so that it will be stable,” he said.

Steffany Eresh Juarbal, for her part, shared that she was in Butuan when Yolanda hit the country.

“I was in Butuan during Yolanda and the water in the river was really high. It’s kind of terrifying for me to see that; it was the first time in my life to see that kind of flood,” said Juarbal, an SLSU student who was also a member of a rescue team that helped bring people to safe centers.

Juarbal said she would prepare accordingly if she was aware of an upcoming typhoon. “I will prepare my needs first, like water, food, all the necessities, especially the whistle, so that if something bad happens I can call for help, and a cell phone also. That would be my priority,” she said.

“I’m also going to share my knowledge with other people when I see that in the near future they’re going to face hardships during calamities. I’m going to tell them what to do,” she added.

“I learned a lot during today’s sessions,” Juarbal said of the TNT caravan. “My favorite part in today’s activity was the discussion about the important things to bring when calamity comes,” she said.

“I learned and laughed a lot; I enjoyed it. I’ve attended some seminars before. These discussions are sort of a refresher for me. After learning these I can say that I can apply them when something happens.”

Stressing the importance of being prepared for emergencies, Tindog said: “Being prepared for disasters is important because it can prevent casualties.”

Rosios added: “If you’re not ready, your life may be at risk. You may be in danger in case calamity strikes.”

Smart Communications, along with TNT, brings its Tropang Ready Disaster Preparedness Caravan to schools nationwide to promote the culture of preparedness among the youth as part of its #SafePH campaign. This is the latest enhancement of the program launched in 2013 to help communities, families and individuals in high-risk areas prepare for, manage impact during and quickly recover from disasters.