Harness local government In disaster preparedness

IN OBSERVANCE of the National Disaster Consciousness Month , Senator Loren Legarda  renewed her cally to heighten disaster preparedness especially in local communities.

Legarda, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, said that proactive strategies and the involvement of citizens are needed in strengthening the country’s defenses against natural hazards and climate change.

“Most natural hazards turn into disasters because of the lack of preparedness. Preparation is the name of the game. It is a must that citizens understand how they can contribute to making our communities disaster-resilient and urge them to actually take part in such activities.

 “Disaster prevention starts long before a typhoon makes landfall, before an earthquake happens or before a volcano erupts. Early warning and early action should be at the very heart of our efforts. Everyone should understand the risks we face and equip ourselves with preventive measures to lessen the impact of natural hazards,” she said.

The local government officials are in the best position to lead and engage those in their respective cities, municipalities, and provinces to establish and strengthen disaster preparedness measures.

Local government units (LGUs) should also involve citizens in restoring coastal mangrove forests and continuous tree-growing activities, which are simple yet effective defenses against several types of hazards.

“Our LGUs’ role is important in building resilient communities. They should plan well and invest public resources wisely with reducing disaster risk as a goal; promote a culture of safety and resilience engaging all stakeholders and sectors; raise awareness on disaster and climate risk at community and family level; and improve local early warning and community preparedness systems. Disaster risk reduction and preparedness should be a way of life,”  she said.

July is National Disaster Consciousness Month. The theme for this year’s observance is, “Kamalayan sa Kahandaan, Katumbas ay Kaligtasan.”

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