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How educators are taking the lead in creating a #WeatherWiser nation

Jam Salazar | March 28, 2018

“Good morning Sir, may pasok po ba ngayon? Baha na po sa amin eh.”

“Magandang umaga, ma’am. Tuloy po ba ang sportsfest bukas? Malakas na po ulan eh.”

Aside from disaster response units, the Department of Education (DepEd) can be considered one of the frontliners during disasters in the country. For one, school units often serve as evacuation centers during typhoons and other weather emergencies. Additionally, school personnel usually take charge in announcing class suspensions typically decided upon by local government units (LGUs), and parents usually contact teachers firstwhen fetching children from school. Therefore, basic knowledge in weather would be helpful in their line of work.

In the Philippines, typhoons are frequent and destructive, but always foreseeable and expected. For example, we know that typhoons typically hit at the start of the school opening season. However, some disaster preparedness efforts are still reactive and most resources go to disaster relief operations.

To address this, the WeatherPhilippines Foundation  continues to strengthen its advocacy of creating a #WeatherWiser nation through its flagship training activity – Weather 101 and Tropical Cyclone 101. These trainings are aimed at  one of our key stakeholders who definitely benefit from knowledge in weather calamities and disaster resilience – the education sector.

Inclusive partnerships like what we have with DepEd are part of the main thrust of WeatherPhilippines. This is why in our years of operating, we always look to  foster partnerships that will help us achieve the goals that we have set for the foundation. We seek meaningful relationships with different organizations that share a common goal with us – not just to help communities adapt to weather, but to transform them to become weather-resilient.

With advancing business and communities in mind, we have partnered with UnionBank subsidiary City Savings Bank to strengthen DepEd’s disaster resilience by helping transform schools–as CitySavings’ primary customers are public school teachers–into #WeatherWiser communities.

We are particularly happy with having DepEd as a partner and training beneficiary because of the department’s capability to pass on knowledge to future generations. We have seen the essential role that educators play in instilling the #WeatherWiser mindset to the youth of today. With their weather training, our educators are now better empowered to deal with their stakeholders more effectively.

By  training DepEd personnel, we expect improvements in terms of weather disaster risk management in schools. Here’s the objective – for schools to have appropriate disaster resilience action plans even before the disaster hits. Aside from minimizing damage, this model eases bouncing back after the calamity.

More regional and divisional runs of the Weather 101 and Tropical Cyclone 101 are scheduled this year, following trainings conducted for DepEd Regions 9 and 12 in January and February, respectively.  To date, WeatherPhilippines and CitySavings have provided trainings to 1,485 DepEd personnel across the nation.

Next time there’s a typhoon brewing and the students are all right, let’s thank our #WeatherWiser educators for knowing what to do. They are definitely doing  their homework!