Local Government, 500 Families Complete Mass Evacuation Exercises in Metro Manila
Manila - IOM’s Mass Evacuations in Natural Disasters (MEND) project funded by the European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) concluded on 30 June 2018. As a project that aimed to mitigate the risks of forced displacement and empower communities to become increasingly resilient during times of disaster, one of its main activities was the Mass Evacuation Simulation Exercises, which ran through the month of June.
The simulation exercises recreated the mass evacuation of a large portion of three barangays in each of the project areas. The simulation covered the entire process of evacuation, beginning with the preparation of Go Bags, the actual movement of persons from their places of origin (their homes) to safe open spaces identified in Barangay Evacuation Planning activities, and ending in temporary settlement in pre-setup camp sites.
The local government simulated the entire process as well, to ensure their preparedness should such an event require their immediate support. During the simulation, they attended to critical medical cases, assisted evacuees in settling down in the camp and provided psychological support. Spaces were also prepared for women and children, while water bladders were made available for proper sanitation.
The simulation exercise in Pateros, participated in by 100 families, including observers from different Local Government Units (LGU), agencies and organizations, brought together the municipal government unit, the barangay LGU, and the community. The participation of the different government agencies (including the fire department, police, etc.) ensured the collaborative success of the exercise.
The exercises in Navotas City, also participated in by 100 families, reinforced the role of the earthquake-response incident management team that works toward securing the community in the event of a catastrophic earthquake. This allowed for the integration of an evacuation strategy into the barangay’s contingency plan.
The final simulation exercise in Quezon City, which brought together the barangays of Roxas and Tatalon at the Quezon Memorial Circle, involved the participation of 300 families. With a larger-scale simulation, first responders saw the magnitude of a massive evacuation of persons. This enabled the local government to grasp the importance of preparing communities down to the family level.
The simulation exercises aim to ensure that LGUs and communities develop more resilience in anticipation of a catastrophic earthquake that could hit Metro Manila any time.
For more information, please contact Kristin Dadey, IOM Philippines, Tel: +63 917 803 5009, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org