Disaster risk reduction and management education

By Allan Ronquillo

Bicol is a region where many potential natural hazards may occur. We are often in the direct path of typhoons and have active volcanoes in our territory. Apart from these, there is always the possibility of earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, and floods, among other disasters. There are also what DepEd calls human-induced hazards such as structure collapse, fire, chemical spills, vehicular-related accidents, electrical blackouts, red tide, bomb threats, kidnapping threats, hostage taking, and civil disorder. With the possibility of these, it is thus crucial for the education sector to integrate disaster risk reduction and management into the curriculum.

Primarily, disaster risk reduction and management education raises awareness on the causes and effects of disasters. Furthermore, this allows the learners to develop and contribute to a culture of prevention and reduction of the risks of disasters. This also improves the capacities of the members of the community to not only respond to emergencies in times of disasters but also to cope after they occur. Disaster risk reduction and management education likewise restores the normalcy after the disasters and gives the people affected with hope for the future after these disasters occur.

It is a reality that we cannot put a stop to disasters. However, we can minimize the damages if we take actions in preparedness and mitigation, response, and rehabilitation.

DepEd in its Disaster Risk Reduction Resource Manual says that prevention and mitigation in schools begins with knowing which hazards and risks the school is exposed to in a process called “hazard mapping;” meeting with all stakeholders in education and making plans to reduce those hazards and risks; and implementing plans to reduce vulnerabilities.

Disaster risk reduction and management helps ensure sustainable development, which is especially important in a developing nation like the Philippines.

Disaster risk reduction and management should be a national and local priority, and should be supported by institutions like schools, colleges, and universities.

As an educator, I urge all Bicolanos to support disaster risk reduction and management education by cooperating with DepEd in its endeavor to teach the same to our learners. These include

We must also follow the government’s recommendations in preparing for and responding to disasters, such as cooperating in earthquake drills, creating an earthquake survival kit, participating in school advocacies on disaster preparedness.