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UST-Legazpi intensifies Disaster Drill in anticipation for worst-case scenario

At 10am, every student and employee of the University of Santo Tomas- Legazpi refrained from all ongoing activities to proceed to various locations within the university, with hands protecting their heads, and with facemasks on, as part of the routinely Disaster Drill on February 21, 2018.

The drill was scheduled by the Office of Student Services (OSS) to keep our university prepared should any disaster befall us, as has been done so every semester. Aside from the usual earthquake and fire drills, our administrators included Mayon Volcano’s eruption and multiple injuries this time as part of the disasters that we should be preparing for.

The drill is only necessary for us to do, since we have been witnessing Mayon Volcano’s intermittent eruptions for about a month now. According to OSS Director Jess Barizo, this is only “part of the commitment of UST Legazpi to make our academic community prepared in any eventuality.”

With the consistent support of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), our emergency response team has performed a more intensive drill, thereby receiving an overall 9/10 rating from the BFP.

Additionally, the University Clinic, under the OSS, is overseeing the training of students from the elementary and the junior and senior high schools to join the ranks of the college students who are already part of the emergency response team.

Just recently, the University of Santo Tomas- Legazpi Emergency Response Team formulated a guideline to be observed should the worse come to worst. For Sir Barizo, the following would be considered the worst-case scenario: hazardous volcanic eruption, presence of pyroclastic flows, tall eruption columns reaching about 10-15 kilometers, and extensive ash fall, thereby causing zero visibility. God forbid, but should this happen in the future, we are to observe proper evacuation to Peñaranda Campus – 15 kilometers away from the crater of Mayon Volcano.

Here are the steps to follow according to the guidelines:

EVACUATION DURING HAZARDOUS ERUPTION

Upon hearing the alarm, pupils/students must be instructed by the teacher/adviser to leave the building in a single file and in a calm and orderly manner. The person in charge of each class (teacher/adviser) must indicate the exit route to be used and everyone must be directed to a pre-determined assembly point (used during the fire and earthquake drill).

Specific arrangement must be made to pupils/students with physical disabilities to ensure that they are assisted during the evacuation.

No running is to be permitted to avoid panic.

On staircase, everyone must descend in a single file. Overtaking of classes or individuals must not be permitted.

Anyone who is not in the class when the alarm sounds must go directly to the assembly point.

No one is allowed to re-enter the building until told to do so.

In case there is an earthquake during the eruption, execute duck, cover, hold, and hold-on. Once the shaking stops, teachers, students, etc., should evacuate the school building in single file, keep right and hands on top of the head with face mask/handkerchief/damp cloth covering their nose and signal, all UST-Legazpi constituents shall evacuate on foot and proceed to the UST-Legazpi.

Peñaranda Campus for pick-up by parents and holding area for those who cannot go home.

Advisers/teachers must lead their students to the Peñaranda Campus safe and sound.

It is important that all UST-Legazpi constituents must carry with them face mask, handkerchief, or damp cloth upon entry on foot the school premises everyday while the volcano is abnormal.

ASSEMBLY

An area outside the school premises must be designated as assembly point (Peñaranda Campus)

It must be clearly marked and easily identified by any person who must be expected to be in the school premises

Must be far enough away from the school premises to afford protection from pyroclastic flows, tall eruption columns and extensive ash fall

Must be in a position that does not put pupils and staff at risk by emergency vehicles

ROLL CALL

There should be one person assigned to have overall responsibility to ensure that a roll call is conducted in the event of evacuation of the premises

Immediately after reaching the assembly point, a roll call must be made to ascertain that no one remains in the premises

Any visitor or contractors in the premises at that time must be included.

Attendance register and visitors should be held at a central point and must be brought to the assembly point when the alarm sounds.

Each teacher must report to the person in charge of the evacuation procedure to verify that everyone in their charge is accounted for or to inform him/her of the number of a person missing.

Posted on: 02.22.2018

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