SM Cares educates PWDs, elderly on emergency preparedness


Emergency Preparedness Forum

In times of disasters, the most vulnerable are the persons with disabilities (PWDs) and the senior citizens. Most of them don't get to participate in fire and earthquake drills, and don't have access to seminars usually provided to students and office workers.

SM Supermalls through SM Cares have initiated an Emergency Preparedness Forum that aims to educate the PWDs and the elderly on what to do when disaster strikes. This yearly event used to to be held in a single venue. This year, SM Cares brings the forum to five SM Malls nationwide which started June 21 and will run until July 12, 2019.

Emergency Preparedness Forum

SM Marikina is one of the venues of the Emergency Preparedness Forum. Citizens of Marikina have been preparing for "THE BIG ONE" because of the Marikina Valley Fault System that could possibly have a 7.2 magnitude earthquake scenario.

Emergency Preparedness Forum

Undersecretary for Disaster Risk Reduction – Climate Change Adaptation, Department of Science and Technology and Officer-In-Charge, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Dr. Renato Solidum Jr. facilitated the forum together with ABS-CBN resident rescue analyst Dr. Ted Esguerra.

Emergency Preparedness Forum
Dr. Ted Esguerra teaching a blind girl the proper way to protect herself during an earthquake
Esguerra is an active member of numerous emergency preparedness and disaster response units around the globe. Both Solidum and Esguerra are highly-regarded experts when it comes to disaster preparedness.

What to do when disaster strikes

Emergency Preparedness Forum

Drop, cover, and hold

This means that you should drop to the ground and find a sturdy cover like a table and stay put until the ground stops shaking during an earthquake. Always use your senses especially your sight to assess the situation. 

Safe zones

You should be aware of the safe zones within the area. The safe zones include sturdy tables, the inside corner of the room, columns and beams, load-bearing doorway or wall, outside elevator shafts, and open / clear area to name a few.

Danger zones

Avoid getting near the danger zones. These are windows and glass, book shelves, cabinets and furniture that may topple or slide, hanging objects, inside elevators, power lines, poles, trees, narrow alleys between tall buildings, bridges and flyovers


Be aware of the exits in the house or building where you leave. Make sure that you know the evacuation plan in your area.

Emergency Preparedness Forum
Esguerra teaching senior citizens and SPED students how to cross a flooded street
"Our senior citizens in the community may face challenges during an emergency, especially if they are misinformed. It is our goal to eliminate most, if not all, anticipated obstacles. We will start with the orientation on how to properly respond to situations like earthquakes or flooding. Whatever the limitations, we need to be prepared," said Danilo Chavez, SM Cares Program Director for Senior Citizens.

Emergency Preparedness Forum
Esguerra teaching a PWD how to help himself when trapped alone during an earthquake
"There are possibly a lot of unheard solutions that are appropriate for persons with disabilities. Now that we have our subject experts, Dr. Solidum and Dr. Esguerra, closer to our communities, I am sure that many things will be brought to clarity. And from there, we can better plan what's best for us and our friends who may have physical or mental challenges," added Engr. Bien Mateo, SM Cares Program Director for persons with disabilities.

Emergency Preparedness Forum
NCR Palaro 2019 Marikina Shoelanders attended the Emergency Preparedness Forum at SM City Marikina
The SM Cares Emergency Preparedness Forum's other participating malls are SM City Dasmarinas (July 5), SM City Batangas (July 9), and SM Center Muntinlupa (July 12). The forum will be held at the mall's event center from 10am to 12nn.

To know more about SM Cares CSR programs, visit and follow the facebook page OfficialSMCares.