The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-PHIVOLCS) highlighted the practical web-based and mobile application tools for disaster preparedness during the webinar series titled “Practical tools on Hazards Assessment for Individual and Family Preparedness” recently as part of the 2021 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration on November 26, 2021.
DOST-PHIVOLCS, together with other government agencies developed the Hazard Hunter PH, a web-based, multi-hazard assessment tool for earthquake, volcano, tsunami, and other hydro-meteorological related hazards.
During the webinar, Mr. Hanz Alejandria, Science Research Specialist II of DOST-PHIVOLCS demonstrated the application including the step-by-step process, techniques, and other important features in identifying natural hazards in various locations.
The app generates hazard assessment reports in three categories, the seismic hazard or earthquake assessment report that shows the distance of the nearest active fault; the volcanic hazard assessment that identifies the nearest potentially active volcano; and the hydro-metrological for flood and tsunami hazards.
The assessment results include comprehensive information in identifying hazards such as ground rupture, landslide, ashfall, and flood in a specific location and the nearest critical facilities in the area.
By next year, DOST-PHIVOLCS aims to improve the app feature by including the nearest evacuation center in each area.
Other features of HazardHunter.Ph includes near real-time earthquake and volcano monitoring.
Hazard Hunter PH is a collaborative effort and a product of GeoRisk Philippines, a multi-agency initiative led by DOST-PHIVOLCS and in partnership with DOST-Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration, DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute, Department of the Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geoscience Bureau, DENR-National Mapping and Resource Information Authority, Department of National Defense-Office of the Civil Defense, and Department of Health.
The Hazard Hunter Ph is available on Google Playstore for Android phone users and Apple App Store for iOS users and via a web browser through https://hazardhunter.georisk.gov.ph.
Meanwhile, another web-based tool that was developed by DOST-PHIVOLCS is the “How Safe is My House” which is basically a self-check tool for earthquake safety by evaluating the integrity of the concrete hollow block (CHB) house and its vulnerability to strong earthquakes.
An assessment tool evaluates the safety of the house depending on the inputs that are based on the structural integrity leading to the appropriate construction procedures and the materials used, and its historical backgrounds to determine the recommended measures for improvements.
A Filipino version of this tool is being developed as part of its enhancement.
Moreover, DOST-PHIVOLCS, in its effort to mitigate disasters, highly encourages the public to use these informative and useful tools, especially for households and communities.
According to Dr. Teresito C. Bacolcol, DOST-PHIVOLCS Deputy Director expressed his gratitude to those who have actively participated in the three-day webinar series that he said are beneficial for the community.
“Disaster preparedness is not just a business of DOST-PHIVOLCS; it is everyone’s collective duty to prepare,” he said. Bacolcol underscored that the public should make disaster preparedness a habit so that the people “can develop a culture of preparedness until it becomes part of our lifestyle.”
The How safe is my House is also available on Google Playstore for Android phone users and Apple App Store for iOS users and on web browser through https://howsafeismyhouse.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/ (By Ryan Sebastian Soyosa, DOST-STII)