On June 28, 2014, at the Social Media Day Manila event organized by TweetUpMNL and various partners, including Google Business Group Philipines, wireless leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) focused its participation on advocating disaster preparedness among the social media groups present.
In his afternoon talk, Smart Public Affairs Group Head Ramon R. Isberto shared, “Promoting the culture of preparedness couldn’t have come at a better time as the Philippines observes the National Disaster Consciousness Month this July. We call on everyone to continue using social media for the common good.”
For his part, Louie Domingo, executive director of NGO Emergency Research Center, Inc., one of Smart’s #SafePh partners, shared practical tips on creating emergency equipment in times of disasters. On of these is the e-balde (emergency pail or plastic bucket) that can also be utilized to carry emergency preparedeness items like bottled water, lighter, flashlight, candle, multi-purpose tools, first-aid kit , pea-less whistle, radio, extra clothes, lifesaver, umbrella and food items that don’t need cooking and have longer shelf life.
Social Media Day is a worldwide activity every end of June that recognizes social media’s impact on the world and how it has revolutionized communication and interaction among the public. Last weekend drew in over a thousand participants from 25 various communities. Smart likewise supported other Social Media Day celebrations all throughout the country (Baguio, Cebu, DAvao and GenSan) by way of connectivity and sponsorship.
Smart also gave out sample emergency kits to representatives of each of the social media communities that participated at the MOA Arena to serve as their guides on the basic essential needs for disaster and emergency preparedness.
Its SafePh advocacy is now a key pillar in its corporate responsibility program (CSR) and with it, the company has been on the forefront of promoting the culture of preparedness not ony with its employees but also with its parnter communities. This also includes Smart’s millions of subscribers and the public in general.
THE PARTICIPANTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA DAY IN GENSAN, ALSO SUPPORTED BY SMART AND ORGANIZED BY THE SOCCSKSARGEN BLOGGERS AND GBG GENSAN
Mr. Isberto added, “Keeping safe during disasters is not the sole responsibility of the government or of responding agencies. We must all embrace the culture of preparedness to reduce the need for rescues, and to minimize loss of lives and properties during disasters and emergencies.”
This has become more crucial with the ever-increasing vulnerability of the Philippines to disasters with scale and magnitude never before seen in recent history.
Smart has likewise been promoting the mobile phone or device as a lifeline during emergencies and disasters, thus complementing its preparedness initiatives. Partnering with developer groups, it has been advocating the development of mobile apps to aid in disaster preparedness, management, and response.
Some of these apps include the Project NOAH Mobile (the mobile version of the Department of Science and Technology’s Project NOAH site), PINDOT or Provincial Information Network on Disaster Occurrences and Threats (used by the Province of Albay for its disaster management initiatives) and Batingaw (to be used by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council for disaster management).