Aci Girl at the  Emergency Preparedness Forum by SM Cares

I attended an Emergency Preparedness Forum facilitated by SM Cares that happened last July 9 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City. SM Cares is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of SM Prime Holdings. This year's Emergency Preparedness Forum concentrates its focus on Children and Youth with Disabilities between the age of 10-30.

Emergency Preparedness Forum for Children and Youth with Disabilities

SM CARES: Emergency Preparedness Forum for Children and Youth with Disabilities

I am a panic-kera mom and is always in search and wanting to know how or what to do during an emergency and relaying it to my kids. Yes, I am always instructing them of what they should do in case of fire, earthquake, and calamities especially when they were at school or at even when at home and I'm not around. You know what they say, Iba na ang may alam.

The forum aims to provide substantial information about the reality of a potential earthquakes scenario in Metro Manila, as well as making them better prepared for disasters and calamities. The attendees will be comprised of young people who are blind, deaf, with physical/orthopedic impairment, with Down syndrome, Autism, and those with rare disorders. 

SM CARES: Emergency Preparedness Forum for Children and Youth with Disabilities

People from different PWD organizations and Learning Institutions took part at the SM Cares Emergency Preparedness Forum for Children and Youth with Disabilities.

SM CARES: Emergency Preparedness Forum for Children and Youth with Disabilities

Welcome Remarks by Engr. Bien C. Mateo.
SVP for Mall Operations, Director, SM Cares Program for Persons with Disabilities

SM Cares for Emergency Preparedness on Kids and Youth with Disabilities

Message from Ms. Lotta Sylwande 
Country Representative UNICEF Philippines

First Topic: "The Big One" in Metro Manila with Dr. Renado Solidum Jr.
Undersecretary for Disaster Risk Reduction of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) 
and Officer-in-Charge for the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOCS)
SM CARES: Emergency Preparedness Forum for Children and Youth with Disabilities

Second Topic: Preparing for and Surviving an Earthquake with Dr. Ted Esguerra. 
Operational Medicine Instructor of the International Disaster Response Network, 
To my surprise, some of the tips that I shared with my kids were actually wrong. OMG! I am Shocked! Some of it was what I learned on the internet and some are during my elementary and high school days during our emergency drills. Actually, some of those tips are still being thought to at their previous schools although a hard hat and an emergency bags are what seems to be more new and updated for me.

What am I talking about? For example, in case of an earthquake, kids at school were tasked to leave the building in an orderly manner wearing their hard hats also carrying the emergency bag and walking with their heads down. And or at the quadrangle sitting still waiting for the earthquake to stop still covering their head and looking down.

Simulation Drills conducted by Dr. Ted Esguerra
SM CARES: Emergency Preparedness Forum for Children and Youth with Disabilities

During an earthquake or any other calamities, looking down is a not so good thing to do at all. We and kids should always be aware of the surrounding and should always be alert for whatever stuff that may hit us from all directions. So, Adults and kids should NOT look down or in bowing our heads position in times like this and just covering the head. We should look forward, left and right, up and down as much as possible scoping what may come our way during an earthquake or any calamities.

My Top Learnings During The Emergency Preparedness Forum for Children and Youth with Disabilities

1. Don't Panic. Always remain calm. 
2. Stock Up on Batteries, Food, Water, First Aid Medicines and Antibiotics and don't forget about Duct Tapes it has its own magic. Kidding aside a duct tape may come in handy for first aids etc. 
3. Have a Family Emergency Contingency Plan. Expect the cellular phone signals and electricity to be unavailable. So strategize what your family should do, where to go when you got separated, and be mindful of the emergency protocols. 
4. Educate the kids about it too. (in my case updating them is a must) so they can be ready during an emergency. Try simulating a drill so that they can be aware of what might happen and what they should do about it. Getting familiar with it lessens the kids feeling of being scared or panicky. 
5. Be armed with the right knowledge, resources, strength, and mindset and be ready for what might happen.