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DSWD-9 participates in the nationwide earthquake drill

Some 200 employees of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Office 9 evacuated from the office building after the emergency alarm was raised during the simultaneous nationwide earthquake drill yesterday, April 21, 2016.

DSWD joined the other government agencies in Zamboanga City during the announced drill organized and overseen by the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD). This is in the wake of temblors of magnitude-5 that have struck places around the Philippines in recent weeks.

The drill aimed to raise awareness on the imminent dangers that geological catastrophe, such as earthquake, may cause. The day before the drill, participating agencies were also oriented on the safe and standard evacuation procedures during such event.

OCD assigned observers and evaluators coming from different agencies and organizations to document all drill activities in chronological order.

The exercise was followed by a post-drill evaluation meeting where observers and evaluators reported the documentation, to include lessons learned, good practices, and necessary actions to improve emergency procedures, and incorporate them into the agency’s disaster plan.

OCD initially reported that DSWD-9 employees were able to evacuate and reach their assigned evacuation area in 2 minutes and 36 seconds which is not bad as compared to the drill conducted in 2013 wherein it took 10 minutes for the employees to leave the building. The said improvement is attributed to the continuous effort of the management in ensuring that employees are well informed and that hallways and exit routes are clear for smooth to allow safe and prompt evacuation.

OCD will send the complete post-drill evaluation to all participating agencies so that identified gaps will be addressed and incorporated to the agency’s disaster plan.

 

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