Teaching disaster-preparedness to ordinary Filipinos

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  • Journalist Jeff Canoy, survival and disaster expert Doc Ted Esguerra, and Project NOAH director and geologist Mahar Lagmay are on a mission to impart knowledge and skills on emergency and disaster-preparedness to Filipinos via the program, “DZMM Red Alert.”

    The three anchors have been using their respective expertise and experience to help their listeners and viewers protect their families through the show, which airs on DZMM Radyo Patrol 630 and DZMM TeleRadyo.

    “The role of our program is really to provide hard and fast information because it’s people’s safety we’re talking about. Sir Mahar brings in the science, Doc Ted tells us what we can do, and I bring in the stories from covering calamities and conflict in the past ten years,” said Jeff, recipient of awards from Cannes Corporate TV Awards in France and Palanca for his works on the Marawi siege.

    The seasoned reporter joined “DZMM Red Alert” last year, when he also took over the anchor duties of “Red Alert” on ABS-CBN. But he freaked out when he learned he would also be part of “Red Alert” on radio.

    “It took me a while before I got the hang of it. Until now I still feel like I have lots to learn. Plus the thing with radio is it’s more a free-flowing discussion,” he admitted.

    Good thing was that waiting for him in the program are two media-savvy men of science committed to the advocacy of the show, and have proven capable of making complex topics easier to understand by ordinary Filipinos.

    Doc Ted, a humanitarian worker and physician who has led many rescue operations, credits his artistic side, having done theater and songwriting before gaining fame as a member of the first Philippine Mt. Everest Expedition and as a survival and disaster medicine expert.

    “I use what I know about culture and the arts because not everybody can understand hard science. Other people in disaster management just focus on the hazard and the location, I look at the culture so I can explain the situation better to the people,” he said.

    Meanwhile, UP professor and academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology Mahar never imagined himself in the field of broadcasting. However, his desire to help spread awareness on disasters and emergency preparedness pushed him out of his comfort zone.

    “Given climate change and increased frequency of calamitous events, emergency and disaster preparedness have even become more important. The goal is to educate more Filipinos and get them engaged in preventing unnecessary loss of lives. Radio is a good platform to do this,” he shared.

    Apart from the program, they also conduct emergency and disaster preparedness seminars in schools and barangays through the “TV Patrol Caravan,” “DZMM Kapamilya Day,” and “Red Alert Emergency Expo.” ( Malaya)

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