Project NOAH’s initiatives on disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) have continually built individual and institutional capacities and resilience using multidisciplinary research and risk assessment. With the recent completion of its three component projects, Project NOAH is now proceeding to its next step in innovation: From hazard mapping to risk mapping. This is to even more enhance the disaster mitigation plans of communities in the Philippines.
As it continues to strengthen the capabilities of local government unit officials, members of non-government agencies, community leaders, policy makers, and planners in the field of disaster risk reduction (DRR), Project NOAH is pleased to announce the start of a new component: the Integrated Scenario-based Assessments of Impacts and Hazards (ISAIAH).
Project NOAH will be adding up-to-date reliable data sources in ISAIAH. New research and innovation, as well as publishing relevant articles on a regular basis, will be maintained. These will present information on current pertinent and topical issues related to disaster risk management and reduction, as it was done in the recently concluded Project NOAH components.
The objectives of ISAIAH are to:
- Create a municipal level risk assessment, incident reporting, and visualization tool.
- Map exposure elements, such as population, buildings, and critical facilities.
- Assess vulnerability to hydrometeorological hazards based on available datasets.
- Evaluate the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management capacities of local government units.
- Train and communicate end-users in the use of the NOAH website and its allied tools.
- Provide data and risk information required by NDRRMC during extreme weather events through the Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment (PDRA) system.
ISAIAH is set to implement range of capacity building activities including Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) campaigns to different regions in the country, training workshops to the members of local government units and national government agencies, and even conferences with the help of DRR advocacy organizations and institutions along with a unique opportunity for learning and training.
Using the existing tools, techniques, and innovations of Project NOAH, ISAIAH will introduce community-based adaptation fit for all levels of practitioners—as well as for science researchers.The project aims to enhance the knowledge of policymakers on areas that are safe for habitation as well as those that are suitable for long-term development. ISAIAH places a very high priority on risk mapping so that community leaders will be able to point out appropriate areas that are most likely safe for the rehabilitation of civic buildings like hospitals, schools, and even evacuation centers.
ISAIAH highlights the emphasis of DRRM on strengthening preparedness and building stronger community resilience. This is essential as it recognizes the actions needed to address the underlying reasons of disaster risk: poor urban planning among other man-made factors. In this way, adapting to the challenges of climate change in addition to DRR is given emphasis to help prevent significant loss of lives wrought by future disasters.
Project NOAH will strive to keep ISAIAH’s output accessible and appropriate for its end-users, as well as to make the tools informative and easy to use not only for action-oriented and collaborative researchers but also to people at the grassroots level.
In these developments, Project NOAH continues to keep key stakeholders informed with progress, issues, and solutions in its disaster risk reduction efforts.
Along with these innovations, Project NOAH also announces its sustained partnership with the OpenStreetMap (OSM) community. The collaborative efforts of national government agencies pave way to a more relevant and vital execution of WebSAFE, an impact assessment tool that can be accessed through Project NOAH’s website.
OSM is a tool that is an integral part in creating a disaster resilient environment. By identifying points of interest, critical facilities (e.g. health centers, schools, town halls), buildings, and other infrastructures in the community, areas vulnerable to disasters can be easily identified, and risk and exposure details (number of affected houses, commercial buildings, evacuation centers) would be readily estimated.
If citizens map their own communities, disaster preparedness measures will be more engaged and effective, especially in identifying hazards and risk exposure in the community.
To help you get started with your mapping experience, here are 10 easy steps in using OSM for mapping your community:
For LGU officials and members of educational institutions who would like to help in mapping their localities, please feel free to ask assistance from Project NOAH ([email protected]) and the OpenStreetMap Philippines community ([email protected]).