The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), in partnership with the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Office of Civil Defense kicked off the first leg of its regional disaster information campaign dubbed as "Iba na ang Panahon! Science for Safer Communities" last March 3 at the Oxford Hotel, Angeles City, Pampanga.

The two-day event gathered provincial governors, city/municipal mayors, and disaster risk reduction managers in Central Luzon to arm them with the latest information, tools and technologies that help them understand the possible impact of hazards in their respective communities which is crucial in their formulation of local disaster preparedness and risk communication plans.

The collaborative project starts this March to help arm local governments in preparing for potential hazards in the future.

In his message, Science Secretary Mario G. Montejo explained that Iba na ang Panahon! “embraces the change in our seasonal climate and weather patterns and the severity of the impact of weather-related natural hazards in the country.” He added that the campaign highlights the availability of new tools such as latest high resolution maps and flood modeling solutions that allow scientists to bring better forecast warnings down to communities.

Inter-government effort for safer communities
The launch sets off the government’s mobilization of its resources to enhance capabilities of local communities across the country to deal with calamities the magnitude of typhoon Yolanda. Op exercises

Participants, in table top exercises, went through hazard maps in their very own localities, identifying hazards such as fault lines, previous flood and storm surge episode, and others that affected and may still affect in the future certain parts in their communities. Having been introduced to tools and technologies such as 3D maps, apps, and others, they were able to project possible impact of certain hazards in their communities and formulate plans to prevent or minimize disasters.

“Early warning leads to early action,” said Sec. Montejo. “If our local leaders are able to act early, then they will be able to minimize loss and lead their communities into early recovery.” (S&T Media Service)

Participants listen to experts talk about available information, tools, and technologies that would aid them in preparing their communities for future hazards to minimize losses and set off early recovery. (S&T Media Service)

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