DSWD prepares response measures for ‘Karen’

MANILA — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Friday it has already issued a memorandum to its Field Offices along the forecast path of tropical storm “Karen” to ensure that the necessary preparedness and response measures are in place, particularly during the weekend.

The memorandum was issued after the Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment (PDRA) meeting on the tropical storm, which was attended by member-agencies of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

The memorandum stressed that the Disaster Response Units shall be on 24/7 operation to monitor actual weather condition.

It also called on the Quick Response Teams (QRTs) to be on standby mode and be ready for deployment to possible disaster areas.

At the same time, the memorandum ensures the availability of stockpile of food and non-food items for augmentation at any given time and prepositioning of goods per local government unit (LGU).

In addition, readiness and availability of vehicles and communication lines (satellite phones) for disaster response operations were also provided in the memorandum.

Meanwhile, DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said that the Central Office (CO), Field Offices (FOs) and National Resource Operations Center (NROC) have a total stockpile and standby funds amounting to PHP1,282,795,838.53.

In addition, about 472,132 Family Food Packs (FFPs) amounting to PHP70,612,527.46 and available Food and Non-Food Items (FNFIs) amounting to PHP573,863,409.30 were also prepared.

Secretary Taguiwalo also repeated her call for the public to be on alert and to heed announcements of authorities for their own safety.

Based on the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) advisory, storm “Karen” has gained strength and is expected to further intensify as it will make a landfall on Sunday. PNA-northboundasia.com