Smart vows to support preparedness by joining disaster communication forums

MANILA, Oct 14 (PNA) — Telco giant Smart Communications (Smart) on Wednesday vowed to continuously support promote the culture of preparedness by continuously participating in regional disaster communication conferences.

Aside from providing communications as relief during disasters, Smart also helps strengthen the capacity of high-risk communities to prepare for, manage, and recover from the impact of disasters.

Previously, Smart joined the first-ever regional disaster communications conferences, dubbed as ICT (Information and Communications Technology) Bayanihan, being the first telco to co-organize the regional meeting.

The ICT Bayanihan is organized by Office of Civil Defense’s (OCD) under the Department of National Defense.

Such regional conferences aim to institutionalize rapid emergency telecommunication teams to lead immediate response and support when there are disasters.

Smart also developed the Batingaw mobile app for OCD-NDRRMC, which can be downloaded for free at Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Batingaw is a handy resource and reporting tool for nationwide disaster management.

Smart Public Affairs Community Partnerships Senior Manager Nova Concepcion in a statement stressed the importance of communications in the entire disaster risk management process.

“For a country of many islands like the Philippines, located in an area being visited by at least 20 typhoons a year, this series of regional summit focused on communications is exactly what we need,” Concepcion said.

“And as member of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster of the NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council), we saw it fit to support the ICT Bayanihan,” Concepcion added.

Smart has also been consistent in providing immediate “libreng tawag” services to areas affected by disasters. Smart’s satellite services are connected to affected areas to the rest of the world.

The telco also offers a web-based disaster communications solution called Smart Infocast, which has been proven effective in disseminating weather forecasts and warnings. (PNA)