Campus Based Disaster Management
The academe like the Nueva Vizcaya State University-Bambang Campus has a salient role in educating, re-orienting and redirecting the disaster risk management practices of its stakeholders to cope with the needs of this ever changing planet.
This paper discusses the goal of the university in building a culture of safety and preparedness by evaluating its disaster reduction and readiness (DRR) practices along the dimensions of (a) assessment and planning, (b) physical and environmental protection, and (c) response capacity. Having employed descriptive survey method and with the use of a valid and highly reliable questionnaire, brainstorming sessions, and unstructured interview with social studies major students, public administration students in both graduate and undergraduate levels, and coordinators of the Office of Student Affairs shows that there is a need to improve some concerns along assessment and planning like a well-research historical events and current scientific studies and consideration of all different hazards that could affect the campus in general.
In terms of environmental protection, consistent efforts to conserve water and energy are wanting, and efforts to reduce waste in the campus by reusing and recycling are on the alert level. Moreover, guidelines for disaster response and holding of post-disaster drills to practice safety skills with all staff and students at least twice a year are to be institutionalized.
Special and immediate attention should be given in the conduct of research on historical events and current scientific studies on the different hazards that could affect the campus. Moreover, the need to have evacuation plans including safe assembly areas, evacuation routes, safe havens and alternatives, and buddy system is deemed urgent; and these plans should be shared with the nearest police, fire and hospital officials and established communication and understanding in advance of emergency situations.The buildings in the campus has been checked by local fire department for fire safety, and in case of earthquake and windstorm, they have fastened tall and heavy furniture, secured computers, televisions and other electronic equipments, hazardous materials, water tanks, roof elements, railings and parapets, storage tanks and other items that could kill, injure or impair educational continuity. Moreover, in case of flood, landslide and typhoon, we know about early warning systems in-use in their community and have plans to respond to these in order to move people and assets to safety.
However, there is a need to enhance fire prevention measures and the provision of response tools such as fire alarms, fire hoses, fire extinguishers, buckets of sand, and its maintenance is highly recommended. Moreover, building exit routes should be marked and have automatic emergency lighting. The school’s efforts to reduce waste by reducing, reusing and recycling needs improvement and should be sustained.