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124: HOW TO MEASURE DISASTER PREPAREDNESS OF COMMUNITIES
  1. Diana Francesca G Gepte,
  2. Czarina Charmaine S Diwa,
  3. Bernadette Joy Q Almirol,
  4. Ofeila P Saniel
  1. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Public Health UP Manila, Manila City, Philippines

Abstract

Background A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in four barangays in Pasay City in NCR, Philippines. These barangays have been severely affected by the simultaneous occurrence of Typhoon Maring and a southwest monsoon in August 2013.

Objectives The study described how to measure the level of disaster preparedness of communities.

Methods Using the CASPER1 sampling method developed by the CDC, seven houses were selected from 30 clusters in each barangay. Various metrics were used to measure disaster preparedness at the community level. The indicators used in this study were provided by the DILG, a population-based survey of households, and focus group discussions to identify perceived degree of community preparedness.

Result Only one barangay was able to attain the minimum score of 60% for it to be categorized as prepared for disasters. Using the LGU preparedness standards (i.e. the Seal of Disaster Preparedness2), all four barangays scored lowest in the section on Action Plan, indicating deficiencies in hazard maps, records, and emergency protocols. They also scored low in Competency and Tools, suggesting a lack of evacuation sites and plans. Results of the survey suggest that in terms of community participation and other adaptations, only 32.7% was classified as prepared. Only 19.6% of the households participate in mock drills while 94.5% claimed to have been warned about an upcoming typhoon. The focus group discussion examined perceptions about disasters; identified hazards, coping mechanisms, and barriers to disaster preparedness.

Conclusion This information can be used to generate disaster preparedness scores which can be categorized and prioritized for intervention. It is essential to increase disaster preparedness as it mitigates the negative effects of natural hazards, which in turn reduces the negative impact of disasters. Reduction in disaster risk mitigates the number of deaths, injury, and damaged property.

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