DSWD to test new equipment for rapid emergency communications

DSWD to test new equipment for rapid emergency communications
Newly-acquired communication equipment will be tested during the 3rd Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill on Wednesday, September 27

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will demonstrate its new emergency telecommunications equipment during the 3rd quarter nationwide earthquake drill on Wednesday, September 27.

The drill will test the newly-acquired satellite Global Xpress made for rapid emergency telecommunications.

Among the new gadgets to be tested are Automatic-Pointing and Manual-Pointing Broadband Global Area Network terminals which could connect a laptop computer to broadband internet in remote areas.

It also includes the latest ISat2 mobile satellite telephones that ensure reliable connectivity when a disaster strikes.

“Our goal is to encourage more people to lead good examples of resiliency and to empower them by educating them about their roles and responsibilities in disaster situations,” said DSWD officer-in-charge Emmanuel Leyco in a statement.

Last Thursday, September 21, the DSWD initially tested the equipment and successfully communicated with other teams in Central Luzon, Bicol, and various operation centers in Metro Manila.

According to a study by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, movement of the West Valley Fault could trigger a magnitude 7.2 earthquake. (READ: The ‘Big One’: Are people ready?)

When the “Big One” strikes, communication within the metro will be greatly affected, if not impossible. (READ: What if communication lines break down during disasters?)

Preparedness plans and readiness of local government units and responders are tested every 3 months through the national simultaneous earthquake drill.

The drill was originally scheduled on September 21 but was postponed after President Rodrigo Duterte suspended government work and classes in public schools, declaring it a “national day of protest” to mark the 45th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law. – Rappler.com

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