Residents of Brgy. San Pascual in Obando, Bulacan successfully conducted the community flood drill last December 6, 2015. The drill was organized by the Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Committee (BDRRMC) in close coordination with the Municipal and Provincial DRRM Offices, after almost 3 months of intensive planning and preparation.
Over 500 people from vulnerable households in the community participated in the evacuation drill, who, prior to the drill received training in formulating their household contingency plans.
Critical to the success of the flood drill is the participation of the emergency response units from the police, fire department, rescue, barangay tanods, health workers, social welfare department, and other agencies.
The municipal health department was in charge of the medical assistance and first aid corner, while volunteer mother leaders prepared and served hot meals during the drill. Members of the BDRRMC managed the evacuation center.
The community flood drill simulates what happens during a specified flood event and how the Barangay will respond to it in a coordinated and orderly manner.
The drill aims to prepare and inform the community about the different disaster management system that the barangay in close coordination with the municipality, province, agencies of the government and civil society organizations has put in place to be ready for disaster events such as floods.
These systems aim to reduce potential occurrences of deaths, losses, damages, difficulties and chaos during a disaster. The drill also aims to test and rehearse the different capacities of the community including the effectiveness of early warning systems including communication, coordination and alert facilities, practice the evacuation of high-risk households to designated evacuation sites as well as the capacity of rescuers and responders and the overall management of evacuation centers, among others.
The community flood evacuation drill is one of the activities under the Project SUCCESS (Strengthening Urban Communities’ Capacities to Endure Severe Shocks), implemented by the Diocese of Malolos Commission on Social Action and Catholic Relief Services with funding support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Project SUCCESS aims to strengthen the resilience and DRRM capacities of flood prone barangays in Metro Manila, Rizal and Bulacan.
Story by Marino Deocariza, Program Manager, Project SUCCESS.