I told myself today that I won’t be reading news about Yolanda nor reading tweets from ANC and Inquirer.net. It’s not that  I don’t want to know what’s happening, it’s just that I can’t take the fact that the government is having a hard time figuring out how to handle the catastrophe efficiently. There seems to be an oversupply of donations and relief goods–thanks to all the benevolent countries and organizations. The big problem now is how to effectively distribute the goods to ensure that even those in the most remote part of the province will get them. What even infuriates me is that the government was too slow in accepting that they’re coordination plan is failing. They should have immediately seek the help of Japanese or Americans who have experience a similar disaster before. There’s nothing wrong from asking for help, it’s the life of so many people that is at stake here.

Imagine, if it weren’t for CNN or the other international news agencies, who reported on the disorganized planning, the people-in-charge will not publicly admit their incompetency. I must thank Anderson Cooper and his team by going to the field and reporting the actual things happening–and my dismay to Korina Sanchez’s remark if it was true.

This prompted me to think, what would I do if such a disaster happen, what would be the steps that I will take?

  1. Send to all news agencies the operation plan, e.g. relief goods will be going to these centers, medical volunteers must go to this team, etc.
  2. Take Charge
    1. Somebody has to be more visible on the news telling every news agencies what the plans are. At least people will know the procedure and will know where to go, what to do if they want to help. In this case, this can be the President or his spokesperson. Disseminate an hourly update to the media.
  3.  Teams
    1. Put up teams for the following: Medical Operation, Food Operation, Road & Infrastructure Operation, Security Operation. They will be the supervisors who will coordinate and manage the problems that are within their scope.
  4. Mode of transport
    1. Since the road going to Tacloban has been badly damaged, that would be the first thing to fix. Knowing that we only have 2 C-130 planes, find other ways to transport the goods to the island.
    2. Send troops and volunteers to clear the roads.
  5. Food
    1. Immediately put up temporary tents in key locations. These tents will not only be temporary shelters for the victims but will also become the feeding centers for all. It will also be used to immediately treat those people who are sick and needs medical attention.
    2. While the feeding centers are in operation, start distributing relief goods to other places.
  6. Social media awareness
    1. Put up a big projector screens in key locations where tweets and Facebook feeds can be seen. These can also show the news from the leading news channels in the Philippines. It’s like an assurance to all that their complaints are heard and that something is done to address them.

I created a organization chart shown below that I think would be a decent plan to start on. Please let me know what else is missing and how  it can be improved.

Yolanda Rescue and Operations Chart

Yolanda Rescue and Operations Chart

If you know anything on the current SOP in terms of distributing goods, please feel free to fill them in.

  1. Where are the relief good packing centers?
  2. Where can we enlist as volunteers for:
    1. repacking of goods
    2. provide first aid and medical help
    3. help in dissemination of information
    4. distribution of goods
    5. clearing of debris and bodies
  3. Who to ask for missing persons? http://google.org/personfinder/2013-yolanda/

Yolanda Day 6 of Hope