Posted February 12, 2015
DOST exec says knowing uncertainty of typhoons will help prepare for disasters better.
Department of Science and Technology Assistant Secretary Raymund E. Liboro, acknowledging that weather forecasts are “not absolute”, advised disaster management agencies to focus more on “communicating uncertainty” in understanding and appreciating the science behind weather forecasts and typhoon warnings issued by DOST-PAGASA.
Speaking at a panel discussion in a seminar hosted by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and Japan International Cooperating Agency (JICA) at Discovery Suites Ortigas, Liboro underscored that laymanizing weather updates involved more than their translation into the vernacular.
“The key to communicating typhoon warnings is communicating uncertainty. And the most essential part there is the implicit understanding that forecasts are not absolute and cast in stone. This time, for Typhoon Ruby, DOST-PAGASA presented a variety of scenarios to impress upon the public the many possible ways a typhoon can move, like it has a mind of its own,” he explained.
Assistant Secretary Liboro also discussed the urgency to come up with ingenious and creative approaches in dealing with emergency situations such as rescue and recovery operations. He recounted the experience in Japan after the great earthquake of 2011, wherein road-clearing crews were accompanied by deputized audit personnel to hasten the process of issuing fuel vouchers for their trucks and heavy equipment.
“Nowhere is it more crucial to be able to think out-of-the-box than in disaster risk reduction and management. Buhay kasi ang nakataya dito, (Lives are at stake) and this ability quite literally spells the difference between life and death,” he said.
The Final Seminar on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Capacity Enhancement Project was organized by OCD and JICA to share to stakeholders the final outputs of the three-year project, designed to boost the conduct of DRRM planning and implementation activities along the four thematic areas of prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery/reconstruction. (S&T Media Service)