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Students, teachers seen to benefit from disaster preparedness training by Smart

by Smart Communications Inc. | Oct 16, 2017
[16 October 2017] St. Peter’s College in Ormoc City is the venue of the latest installment of the TNT Tropang Ready Disaster Preparedness Caravan of Smart Communications, the wireless unit of PLDT.

When a magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit Leyte in July, both students and teachers at St. Peter’s College in Ormoc City were at a loss, as some of them panicked on their way out of the campus.

“I was in the office when the earthquake began. The students were screaming, and I was also nervous, because it was very strong. I went outside and saw the students who were already running. I told them to ‘stop, duck, cover and hold,’” said grade 6 teacher Rudelaiza Anne Umpad.

St. Peter’s College in Ormoc City was the venue of the latest installment of the TNT Tropang Ready Disaster Preparedness Caravan of Smart Communications, the wireless unit of PLDT. The caravan aims to promote a culture of preparedness among students and faculty members by training them on emergency risk reduction and personal safety.

Emergency Management Center’s Louie Domingo taught the participants the proper way to do the “duck, cover, hold” technique and shared the contents of a “Go Bag”: a flashlight, bottle of water, mobile phone, garbage bag, T-shirt, flashlight battery, and other essentials.

The attendees also watched Smart’s “Maging Laging Handa” video series, which presents safety tips through educational and entertaining song and dance numbers and features performances by both actors and puppets.

SPC students, for their part, staged a short skit on what to do in times of calamities such as typhoons, flooding, earthquakes and fires, among other hazards.

TR St Peter Ormoc

Representatives from the Department of Education, Smart, and Ormoc City private schools pose for photos during the TNT Tropang Ready Disaster Preparedness Caravan held at St. Peter’s College.

Grade 8 student Erica Laurente, one of the students who attended the caravan, recalled the day the earthquake struck: “I started running downstairs; some of the students fell because the boys were pushing, the girls were screaming,” she said.

“Everybody was in panic,” Laurente’s best friend, Bridgette Gaile Tan, said. “I just cried and kept thinking of my family and friends,” she added.

Umpad said following the earthquake, the school began conducting monthly fire and earthquake drills. She added that the training provided by Smart would help both students and teachers absorb the lessons better. “The storytelling and the variety in activities captured the interest of the students and helped them learn more,” she said.

For Tan, apart from all the safety tips that were taught, what she found most interesting was the way they were taught to stay calm. “‘Don’t panic, stay where you are, wait for it to end.’ That’s what I find most interesting,” she said.

As part of its #SafePH advocacy, Smart promotes the use of technology to help mitigate disaster risk in communities. The company has developed other preparedness programs and solutions, such as the Emergency Cell Broadcast System (ECBS); the Batingaw emergency app; and the TNT Tropang Ready youth readiness caravans, among other projects, in its efforts to reduce vulnerabilities.

Subscribers may also borrow airtime credits through Smart Prepaid’s SOS, TNT’s Sakloload and Smart Bro’s Surfloan services by sending a text message to 7676. Users may avail of calls, text and data packages worth up to P30, which will be deducted on their next top up.

The TNT Tropang Ready caravan has been shortlisted as Best Engagement Campaign of the Year at the Responsible Business Awards by Ethical Corp., a UK-based group which provides intelligence to businesses around the world.#