MANILA – The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRMMC) issued a memorandum providing guidance on rainy season preparedness measures amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic in the country.

The memorandum No. 54, series of 2020 said the "NDRRMC member agencies and response clusters are advised to undertake risk-informed decision making by using scientific data on the imminent risks in the country."

The Department of Health (DOH) is tasked to provide data on the demographic profile from "low to high risks" Covid-19 areas—which will serve as a reference of the NDRRMC member agencies and other response clusters in their decision-making as well as planning disaster preparedness during the coronavirus health crisis.

"The National Disaster Response Plan still serves as the national government's strategic action in providing response assistance for managing the consequences of hazards and its potential risks," the memorandum read.

The memorandum added that the activation of the National Disaster Response Plan is compliant with the health protocols, guidelines, and preventive measures of the inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and the DOH, to curb the spread of the Covid-19.

"Measures such as activation of National Disaster Response Plan aligned with IATF-EID Resolutions and Guidelines and the DOH Guidelines on Risk-Based Public Health Standards for Covid-19 mitigation, the conduct of Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment and other related meetings via online, inventory of resources, checking of vital facilities, stockpiling of relief, and other essential logistical requirements, as well as the implementation of health protocols during duty at the Emergency Operations Center," the memorandum said.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) said Saturday that localized preparedness and response efforts are necessary.

"LGUs are guided to implement harmonized concepts from Operation Listo Manual, and the DOH Guidelines on Risk-Based Public Health Standards for Covid-19 Mitigation, maintain science and evidence-based decision through PDRA, consult with warning agencies, and activate Emergency Operations Center, Incident Management Team, budget and logistical requirements for the response," OCD said in a Facebook post.

The OCD said the LGUs are advised to prepare for the impacts of the rainy season to vital facilities, increase the capability to stockpile food and non-food items, explore incident management options—that should also comply with the Covid-19 response operations of the national government.

"LGUs are instructed to have an inventory of evacuation centers that are not listed as quarantine facilities, include demographic profile relative to Covid-19 in an evacuation plan, ensure physical distancing in evacuation centers, provide priority to vulnerable citizens, and administer the proper distribution of relief goods by designating areas with safety markings," the OCD said.

It encouraged its NDRRMC partner stakeholders to coordinate with the LGUs in the prepositioning of resources and other preparedness activities.

On the other hand, the OCD urged the public to monitor the weather forecasts, weather news updates, and other warning advisories.

Those with underlying conditions, persons with disabilities, children, pregnant women, and elders are advised to stay at home.

"However, when the need for preemptive evacuation arises, the said individuals must limit the exposure and contact to other people," OCD added.

The public is also urged to prepare a "go bag" containing food packs, clothes, whistle, flashlight, and other important emergency items.

The OCD is the implementing arm of NDRRMC which is mandated "to administer disaster preparedness and manage the consequences of disasters while it continues to carry out its part on Covid-19 response." (PNA)