LAOAG CITY – Members of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) across Ilocos Norte on Thursday completed a four-day training by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Ilocos Region on damage assessment.

On Thursday afternoon, at least 38 disaster responders and officers representing the different towns and cities of Ilocos Norte graduated from the four-day, face-to-face training that started on Monday (April 24) and culminated in a simulation exercise where they applied what they have learned on Rapid Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (RDANA).

The OCD said the RDANA, held at the Ilocos Norte provincial auditorium, is a vital tool in disaster response that will help local authorities identify the magnitude of a disaster through the assessment of its impacts on the communities and the people.

During the training, participants were taught to identify the objectives, processes, planning principles and assumptions used in RDANA; explain the coordinating mechanisms between actors involved in RDANA; determine the procedures involved before, during, and after an RDANA mission; develop the skills needed to assess information about disaster impacted sites and apply appropriate assessment methods in a simulated disaster impacted site to identify priority needs.

Ryan Rollaine Simon, president of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officers in Ilocos Norte, in an interview Thursday expressed optimism that the RDANA teams can now gather more accurate data to better understand and appreciate the handling of disaster situations and improve the allocation of critical supplies before, during and after a disaster.

“The conduct of the RDANA training participated by the DRRMOs of Ilocos Norte and other stakeholders, the type and extent of damages brought about by any disaster including the needs of the affected population will be immediately determined because RDANA gives a quick snapshot of the disaster situation,” said Simon as she suggested the RDANA should be institutionalized in all levels of disaster response.

She, likewise, highlighted the significance of every department’s role during disasters and their coordination during disaster response.

For his part, Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc expressed gratitude to the OCD for facilitating the training as he assured his administration’s all-out support to the participants, particularly during calamities.

“We need to be alert at all times and simplify our resiliency handbook to ensure that everything is well-coordinated. You can rely on us for support,” he said. (PNA)