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PIA Press Release
2006/10/06

Commentary: Surviving is more like it

by Behn Fer. Hortaleza, Jr.

Dagupan City (6 October) -- In the matter of disaster preparedness, the awful truth is that the best preparation is not to be too prepared - as to be constricted by set rules.

Disaster preparedness is innovation in motion - that's the long and short of it. It is recognizing that all plans can get awry, all preparations can fall short, all best intentions would not always turn out best.

And if this whole slew of philosophies sounds a bit confusing to the ordinary reader, that's because for many of us, our minds have been conditioned to believe there must be hard and fast rules to follow in order to "feel secure" about meeting calamities and disasters. Otherwise, if you don't follow these, you're in for a terrible fate.

But the fact is, disaster preparedness is not meant for the "rescuer", it is meant for the "victim" - or at least, the one in great peril - what he must know, what he has to do, to survive at least temporarily before real help or rescue comes, how he can conserve precious little things he happens to have in him or within reach at the time of the disaster, or use these sparingly to survive.

It may all be a matter of semantics, yes, but we happen to believe that any course designed at helping great mass of people cope with a disaster-prone environment should emphasize more on "surviving" - when the actual calamity has presented itself and you are found right in the middle of it, with no hope of immediate succor except your innate wit and pure instinct. That should be more like it.

As we said up front, the problem of being over-prepared is that one could fall into the trap of seeing things in squares, circles and rectangles - never in a tangled, twisted mess of shapes that true disasters are in the real world. (PIA) [top]

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