Smart conducts emergency response training for USTP studes

Mar 5, 2018

by PR

 

PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications conducted an emergency response and management training for students of the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) 24 February 2018 in Cagayan de Oro City.

 

The whole-day workshop was a “training of trainers” to equip students with knowledge and skills to conduct their own preparedness lessons for members of their respective communities. A day earlier, the training team also ran some simulations for members of the media covering the event.

 

A student learns to use a fire extinguisher during TNT Tropang Ready “trainor’s training” conducted 24 Feb 2018 at the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) in Cagayan de Oro City.

A student learns to use a fire extinguisher during TNT Tropang Ready “trainor’s training” conducted 24 Feb 2018 at the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) in Cagayan de Oro City.

The activity is part of TNT’s Tropang Ready program, a nationwide caravan of Smart’s TNT brand, which tours schools in the Philippines to impart to the youth and their friends (tropa) the importance of disaster preparedness.

 

TNT Tropang Ready is an initiative under Smart’s advocacy for a #SafePH, which promotes preparedness through mobile solutions and on-ground activities to help communities mitigate disaster risks.

 

Last January 16, 2017, flood waters spawned by the “urban rain” phenomenon trapped a thousand students, faculty and staff of USTP in classrooms with no water and food as most of the campus was flooded. They had to clamber up to the upper floors of buildings until they were rescued way past midnight. The USTP campus has been one of the most flood-prone areas in Cagayan de Oro city.

 

Students attempt to cross a flooded section of USTP Campus during the January 16, 2017 urban rain floods.

Students attempt to cross a flooded section of USTP Campus during the January 16, 2017 urban rain floods.

A few weeks later, over 2,000 students attended the TNT Tropang Ready Disaster Preparedness Caravan initiated by Smart at the university campus. The event featured talks and disaster preparedness lessons by emergency management experts and representatives from the local government, disaster risk reduction and management office, University of the Philippines Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (UP Noah) Center, and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), among other organizations.

 

For this second phase of the Tropang Ready program, Smart tapped the expertise of Louie Domingo and Tan Palma of Emergency Management Center to teach the participants how to prepare for and what to do during typhoons, earthquakes, landslides tsunamis, and other calamities.

 

Among the lessons taught the students were first aid and self-defense techniques, pointers on how to assemble a Go Bag or an e-Balde, an emergency kit meant to help an individual or a family survive the next few days following a calamity. The kit included canned food, water, flashlight, batteries, cell phone and an umbrella, among other essentials.

 

A flooded portion of the USTP campus following the Jan 16, 2017 Urban Rain Phenomenon (photo by Jen Ramos Sitoy)

A flooded portion of the USTP campus following the Jan 16, 2017 Urban Rain Phenomenon (photo by Jen Ramos Sitoy)

Participants were tapped to be part of the Tropang Ready community on Facebook, where they could meet online with members of other Tropang Ready schools and share ideas on preparedness and response efforts in their own areas, among other topics.

 

According to Ramon R. Isberto, PLDT and Smart public affairs head the youth play an important role in disaster preparedness.  

 

“They have the mobility, the skills, the technological know-how—they have what it takes to spread the culture of preparedness,” Isberto said.

 

The USTP Career Center showing the Urban Rain Aftermath Jan 17 2017

The USTP Career Center showing the Urban Rain Aftermath Jan 17 2017

“TNT Tropang Ready aims to turn the youth into ambassadors of preparedness in their own communities,” said Smart community partnerships senior manager Nova Concepcion.

 

“We are also working to help include disaster preparedness in the educational curriculum,” she said, noting that the goal of the workshop was to empower students to conduct trainings in their respective communities as part of their school’s extension program.

 

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