WeatherPhilippines: In Pursuit of a #WeatherWiser and Climate-Proof Nation



Filipinos have always been resilient but it doesn't mean we have to experience devastation one after another during typhoon seasons! Even if destruction of property can't always be helped, saving lives should remain a priority. 


According to Reuters.com, extreme weather conditions cause damages and economic losses that increase to nearly $200 billion a year. In the Philippines alone, with 10-20 typhoons arriving annually, the numbers of property losses and death tolls each time a disaster strikes always leave us staggering.

Sophie Brown of TIME magazine reported in November 2013 that roughly 1,000 to 2,000 Filipinos die every year due to adverse weather. Last year, Typhoon Haiyan, the most powerful typhoon ever recorded to hit land, ravaged parts of the Philippines, flattened homes and infrastructure, and destroyed lives in its path. Even livelihoods painstakingly nurtured for decades were wiped out in a single sweep.

updated weather warnings in anticipation of Typhoon Hagupit/Ruby
Yes, we are prone to national disasters and it seems to have always been a standard, unfortunately, with the poorest citizens being the most affected. Although we have fairly competent weather technology systems, many are still caught unawares and lack readiness no thanks to weather terminologies that are too technical for the average Filipino. Because of this, casualties of Haiyan were as many as 10,000 individuals.

Thus, there is a huge need for free, accurate, and localized weather information. The WeatherPhilippines Foundation (WPF) takes the lead in overcoming weather disruption by promoting readiness among our countrymen. Celso Caballero III, General Manager of WPF, shared that by deploying automated weather stations (AWS) in remote areas in the country, "we were able to penetrate  the country's most vulnerable areas and elicit actionable preparations by distilling technical weather forecasting terms into something they can fully grasp."

weather severity matrix
It is good to know that WeatherPhilippines have already started conducting AWS rollout and capacity building trainings to teach mayors and municipal disaster-risk reduction officers all over the country how to install weather stations and access the processed weather information via WPF's website weather.com.ph. The trainings were organized to empower local government units (LGUs) towards an advocacy of proactive disaster-preparedness and climate change adaptation.

"Weather preparedness has to be made more sustainable. Lack of readiness will always cause expensive disruption," explained Caballero. "We have to be able to respond in a way that puts weather as a normal part of our lives, and can be seen as a significant factor in planning the groundwork of our livelihood." 

weather instruments deployment as of August 2014
Last November 25, a conference entitled From Calamity to Resiliency: A #WeatherWiser Nation was held in Blue Leaf Taguig. It featured multi-level and multi-industry discussions that set the stage for LGUs and the private sector to be partners in learning more about climate change, disaster preparedness, forecasting, research, response, and more.

Through the leaders who attended, their constituents are given a chance to also learn and help in weather-related initiatives. The conference also featured a panel of industry champions including Amor Maclang of GeiserMaclang, Zak Yuson of MovePH, and Jim Anderson of Earth Networks, among others.

location of WPF's weather instruments (in red)
"By pooling the best minds in the fields that can impact our lives when it comes to weather adaptation, we are spearheading a movement that aims to turn the unprecedented to the customary, and the customary to the systematic," concluded Caballero. "Business and life continuity truly is the measure of a nation's weather resilience."

Keep updated of the weather in YOUR area! Log on to weather.com.ph especially when adverse weather conditions are coming!

  
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