18/03/2011: A Message from the Consul General on Disaster Preparedness
ON DISASTER PREPAREDNESS
17 March 2011
The recent tragic situation in Japan has shown that there are similar significant risks we all face as residents of the Bay Area.
The potential for earthquakes, tsunamis, flood, fires and other calamities are ever present in our area. This does not include the possibility of a terrorist attack, plane crash, outbreaks of disease and other disasters could affect our families and the community in devastating proportions.
While we cannot control and predict when a catastrophe will occur in the Bay Area, we can be proactive and choose to prepare in advance for any emergency situation or event. In the end, it will be in our hands on how we prepare and react to any natural or man-made disaster.
In this regard, may I reiterate our call to the community to make the necessary preparations for themselves, their families and the community at large.
Basic preparations may include the following:
• Devising a household emergency plan, preparing an emergency survival kit (“grab bags”) containing basic emergency provisions for at least 3 days. Family networks/relatives may establish convergence or rally points where the family members can meet and assemble.
• Keeping tuned to official and verified information, news and advisories from the Federal, State and Local government offices, media outlets as well as the Consulate General.
• Outfit personal vehicles with basic emergency equipment and supplies such as water, food, gasoline, first-aid kits, maps, etc.
• Remember to log on to https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php, a website designed by the American Red Cross to let your family and friends know that you are safe and sound. Inform friends and family to check on this website to determine your whereabouts.
• Organize, attend, read up on training measures, emergency preparedness and other similar activities for the information of the household or through your respective offices, community organizations, churches, etc.
Moreover, in case of emergency, the Philippine Consulate General encourages Kababayans to assist the affected in whatever possible way they can. Kababayans are advised that :
• Rescue teams should be allowed to do their work. Do not self-deploy to the affected area. Only trained personnel and trained volunteers should respond.
• If you like to volunteer when opportunities become available, please contact the appropriate agencies and volunteer centers, such as the American Red Cross (www.redcross.org), including information on how, for example to donate money, goods, medicines, blood, etc.
We would also appreciate the community’s inputs and initiatives as we prepare a disaster contingency plan for the Fil-Am Bay Area community
Information and training seminars and campaigns will also continue to be conducted for Consulate staff, dependents and the community leaders and other interested parties.
Please be assured that the Consulate General will be making similar preparations, monitoring all events and providing information to the Community. It could also serve as a rallying point, information house and/or command center for organizing community relief and rescue efforts, in coordination with other agencies concerned.
We shall also be the focal point for communication with the Philippine government and execute the directives of the government in case of repatriation and other similar activities and the necessary actions to effect such directives including issuance of travel documents, identification cards, etc. We shall serve as a channel to communicate with your relatives and friends in the Philippines.
There are many other issues and concerns that need to be addressed which the members of the community and the different organizations may have inputs, ideas and recommendations to share and contribute towards the formulation of a comprehensive Bay Area/Filcommunity disaster preparedness and contingency plan.
I look forward to our continued collaboration and cooperation on this critical matter of concern.
Maraming salamat po!
Very truly yours,
MARCIANO A. PAYNOR, JR.