2020 was a year of many natural events in the Philippines. On top of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen the eruption of Taal Volcano in January, sporadic visits of typhoons, and of course the monsoon season. Despite these unpredictable events, we have the choice to be (extra) prepared. The Philippines straddles the Typhoon belt and the Pacific Ring of Fire. By nature, natural risks are inevitable.

We usually hear the phrase “Filipino Resiliency” after disaster strikes. It is an optimistic disposition after unfortunate events, yet we should also be cognizant that we could actually stand two steps ahead and minimize the damage if we could only be ready. In the time of COVID-19, the need for disaster resilience has become much more urgent – especially for properties.

Let’s apply a paradigm shift to our thinking. What can we do to safeguard our assets and businesses? How can we prevent or minimize the damaging effects of disasters?

The future is inevitable, yet change is constant. We never know what kind of crisis may hit us.

Over the years, our team has followed CPR – Coordination, Preparation (pre-disaster), and Recovery – to “future-proof” the properties that we help our clients to manage. Here are some ways we can do that.

Coordination. Because no man is an island, you have to:
–          Work with internal and external stakeholders.
–          Follow the guidelines set by the local government, discuss with your local community or your team and implement
–          Know the safety zones, the needed emergency kit and network whom you should call

Pre-disaster Preparation: Cover your bases.
–          Assess your properties for structural integrity. Conduct risk assessment and due diligence to make sure your property is not compromised in the first place
–          Consult regarding hazardous spots. Beware of buying a property on a hazardous classified area.
–          Weather-proof your property. Choose your materials wisely during the construction phase.
–          Get insurance coverage
–          Have a Disaster Management Plan and Emergency Evacuation Plan. Have the option to hire an Emergency Response Team to assist with the implementation

Post-Disaster Recovery: Learning and Development. 
–          Be ready with the incident report/ reports needed by the insurance. Get a visual, assess the damages, take photos and call your insurance agent or in-house insurance team as soon as possible
–          Separate the damaged item from undamaged items
–          Keep a copy of all correspondences
–          Make all the necessary repairs and bring it back to the pre-disaster state. If necessary, call qualified technicians to check your equipment
–          Activate your Business Continuity Plan

These strategies may vary depending on the scalability of your assets, but always remember CPR. Not just in medical, but in disaster recovery and resiliency.

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