#MMShakeDrill trends ahead of June 22 drill
MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) On Saturday, June 11, the hashtag #MMShakeDrill trended on Twitter after Agos – powered by eBayanihan, in partnership with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) – held a workshop for information officers from government agencies and volunteer responders from different organizations.
MMDA, together with different local government units, will hold its second Metro Manila ShakeDrill, also known online as #MMShakeDrill online on Wednesday, June 22. The second quarter National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill, known online as #Pagyanig, will also take place at the same time. (READ: #Pagyanig: NDRRMC holds nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill)
"By tapping social media, we are also tapping the Filipino youth and other people as well for this activity," MMDA chairman Emerson Carlos said in his welcome remarks.
Ahead of the metro-wide activity, Agos and the MMDA held the social media workshop to help responders and officers prepare for the disaster preparedeness scenario.
Importance of social media
The workshop tackled the importance of social media in a disaster scenario.
According to Carlos, MMDA first realized the power of social media during the onslaught of Habagat (southwest monsoon) in 2012.
"We were monitoring reports coming from the fields and we were relying originally from our radio contacts from disaster risk reducation and management officers in Manila and we received the traditional reports and we tried to respond... But then we set up an account. And from those social media accounts, we learned that there are a lot of reports that aren't covered and reached by our traditional form of communication," Carlos shared.
Carlos said that when they established their social media accounts, it was when they were able to reach and rescue more people who were not connected to their on ground responders.
The importance of social media was echoed by Rupert Ambil, Executive Director of MovePH – Rappler's civic engagement arm. He shared his experiences in his field coverages before, during, and after typhoons. Through social media, we can harness the wisdom of the crowd in enabling and expediting response and information dissemination during a disaster scenario, Ambil said.
"We use social media to share correct information. Our goal here is to raise awareness. It's our responsibility to share information with people who need it the most," Ambil stressed.
Ambil also introduced Agos, an information and communications platform that combines top-down government action with bottom-up citizen involvement to help communities adapt to climate change, and become better prepared for disasters. (READ: #ProjectAgos: One-stop shop for climate change)
There are 12-14 million Filipinos in Metro Manila, according to Carlos. While the 150 workshop participants are not sufficient to cover everyone, Carlos said that with the power of social media, the province has the fighting chance to achieve zero casualty in a disaster scenario.
In 2015 and during the first #MMShakeDrill, the same hashtag reached over 2.1 billion impressions or views on Twitter from 5 am to 3 pm, according to Rappler's social listening tool, Reach. On Twitter, "impressions" mean "the times a user is served a Tweet in timeline or search results."
International observers called the earthquake drill, initiated by the Metropolitan MMDA, a good first attempt. All 17 local government units participated in the massive simulation of how disaster officials should respond in the event of a powerful quake striking the metropolis.
This is the bar which MMDA and participating offices aim to surpass in this year's earthquake drill. – Rappler.com
Want to be part of the 2nd #MMShakeDrill? Visit mmshakedrill.ph for more details