900 farmers, fisherfolks simulate disaster evacuation in Marabut, Samar

More than 900 Yolanda survivors that include farmers and fisher folks, women, youth, children, elderly persons and persons-with-disabilities (PWDs) in Barangay Tag-alag, Marabut, Samar participated in the simulation drill facilitated by NCCP Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation team last March 25, 2017.

In cooperation with Barangay Chief Manuel Lledo and  members of the Barangay Tag-alag Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Committee (BDRRMC), more than half of the village’s total population came out of their houses at the sound of the siren signaling evacuation.

“People calmly proceeded to the barangay’s elementary school where members of the evacuation/security team are waiting in designated classrooms to assist the ‘evacuees,’ said Lledo.

Barangay health workers and purok leaders were deployed in the evacuation center and in the village’s health center to assist those who are needing medical assistance and to account for the members of each family.

“We are thankful that NCCP helped us in conducting the evacuation drill. Although we have suffered no casualty during typhoon Yolanda, through this drill, we are more confident that our village is ready and prepared should another typhoon happen,” said Lledo.

Barangay Tag-alag is a poor farming and fishing community and one of the 24 barangays of Marabut municipality. As of October 2015, the village has a population of 199 families.

The evacuation drill is part of a series of capacity-building activities on disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) held in communities affected by Typhoon Yolanda (internationally named “Haiyan”).

“The main objective of the community evacuation drill is to simulate an emergency situation that would require mass evacuation and activate the coordination protocols among the BDRRMC members and first responders including the community-designed early warning system (EWS) and preparedness / contingency plan,” said Edward Santos, NCCP Education and Training Officer.

“These activities also include disaster risk assessment and planning workshops on disaster preparedness. Similar drills were also conducted last year in several barangays in Basey, Samar and in San Rafael municipality in Iloilo,” he added.

At the end of the drill, the participants were divided according to their sub-villages to evaluate the simulation exercise. A separate assessment session was also held for children and members of the BDRRMC.

“The result of the evaluation process will then inform the community disaster preparedness and response plan as well as provide input to improve the barangay’s current DRRM plan. To cap the simulation activity, we formally turned over to barangay officials sets of emergency equipment and rescue tools,” said Santos.

Eight staff from the NCCP-Tacloban Field Office in Tacloban City participated in the evacuation drill and acted as observers/facilitators for the evaluation session held immediately after the drill.

In preparation for the drill, the NCCP DRR team conducted an orientation seminar on disaster risk reduction and management (DRRMO) last January 24 attended by more than 150 participants.

Now on its second year, the NCCP Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (CBDRRM) Project is supported by Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia.