By Carmela S. Obayan, RN

A Disaster Preparedness Seminar from the Nursing Division

     Twenty five years ago, the biggest and deadliest earthquake to date in Philippine history hit Baguio City and provinces around Cordillera and Central Luzon. Known as the 1990 Baguio City Earthquake, it measured 7.9 magnitude on the Richter scale in 45 seconds, killing an estimated 1,621 people and causing damages worth P15 billion in 1990 (Jardin, 2012).

     Today, the fear of many awakened as news about an anticipated 7.2 magnitude earthquake was aroused. This 7.2 magnitude, called the “Big One” is said to hit Metro Manila. The government was indeed alarmed by this news. Different government agencies and other private sectors have put efforts to prepare the public for such disasters. Last July 30, 2015, a drill was conducted in Metro Manila, participated in by different private and public institutions, which included schools, the BPO industry, churches, malls and hospitals. Rizal Medical Center, in preparation for the earthquake, also participated in the said drill.

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     The Nursing Division of Rizal Medical Center conducted a seminar entitled “Mass Casualty Management Seminar for the Nursing Personnel.” Through the efforts of the nursing service, this seminar had a hundred percent attendance by all the nursing personnel. It was conducted from August 3 to 5, and then again on October 8 and 9 2015. The speakers were from the Health Emergency Management Bureau of RMC, which included Mr. Melvin Sube, Ms. Mariles Vargas and Mr. Benjamin Gutierrez. The seminar was divided into two segments. The first part was the lecture proper and the second part was a workshop on how to develop an Incident Command System in case disaster struck the hospital. The participants were also encouraged to have their own disaster kit at home. After the seminar each of the clinical areas and specialty areas were provided with a disaster kit bag.

     Natural disasters such as earthquakes are inevitable. But the harmful effects that it could cause to the public could be lessened if we prepare for it. The government has been active in the advocacy on disaster preparedness together with other government agencies such as Rizal Medical Center.

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