DRH-Asia: Disaster Reduction Hyperbase
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1. Title

Hazards Mapping and Assessment for effective Community-based Disaster Risk Management or “READY” Project

ID: DRH 49
Hazard: Multi-hazard , Other

Process Technology (PT)

Proposer: Renato Solidum
Date posted: 30 March 2009
Date published: 15 October 2009
Copyright © 2009 Renato Solidum (proposer). All rights reserved.


Ms. Lenie Duran-Alegre
Civil Defense Officer/Project Monitoring Officer
Office of Civil Defense- National Disaster Coordinating Council
Department of National Defense
Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, 1110 Philippines
e-mail: lenie017522@yahoo.com
Telefax nos: +632 9120441, 9125947

Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr.
Director, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Department of Science and Technology
Department of Science and Technology
CP Garcia Avenue, University of the Philippines Campus
Quezon City, 1101 Philippines
e-mail: solidr@phivolcs.dost.gov.ph
Tel :+632 9262611, Fax :+6329298366

2. Major significance / Summary

The project addresses the problem of disaster risk management (DRM) both at the national and local level. At the national level, the project aims to institutionalize and standardize DRM measures and processes by different organizations involved in the Project while management of the timing of project implementation and engagement with local government has been taken cared of. At the community level, it will address the availability of hazards maps, the lack of community based hazard monitoring and warning systems and the need to build up the capability of community leaders to implement activities and measures for disaster reduction. It also empowers the most vulnerable municipalities and cities in the country and enables them to prepare disaster risk management plans. The project develops a systematic approach to community based disaster risk management thru: (1) scientific multi-hazard mapping as the first step to risk assessment; (2) community based disaster preparedness and (3) initiation of mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction into the development planning process of the local government units. The Project targets 27 high risk provinces in the country to natural hazards.

3. Keywords

Multi-hazards mapping, community based disaster preparedness, community-based flood early warning systems (CBFEWS), community-based tsunami early warning system (CBEWS for Tsunami), Information, Education and Communication (IEC), Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment Software (REDAS), disaster risk reduction (DRR), disaster risk management (DRM)

II. Categories

4. Focus of this information

Process Technology (PT)

5. Users

5-1. Anticipated users: Community leaders (voluntary base) , Administrative officers , Experts , Architects and engineers , Information technology specialists , Others

5-2. Other users: Policy makers , Motivated researchers , Local residents

6. Hazards focused

Multi-hazard , Other

Multi-hazard covered by the Project refers to the following: A: Geological Hazards: Earthquake-related hazards: ground rupture, ground shaking, liquefaction, earthquake-induced landslide and tsunami. Volcanic-related hazards: pyroclastic flows, lahars
B: Hydro-meterological hazards: rainfall-induced landslide, flooding/flashfloods and storm surge

7. Elements at risk

Human lives , Human networks in local communities , Business and livelihoods , Infrastructure , Buildings , Information and communication system , Urban areas , Rural areas , Coastal areas , River banks and fluvial basin , Mountain slopes , Agricultural lands , Cultural heritages

All the elements at risk identified above are included. Natural disaster knows no bound and limits, thus, its inclusion.

III. Contact Information

8. Proposer(s) information (Writer of this template)

Ms. Lenie Duran-Alegre
Civil Defense Officer/Project Monitoring Officer
Office of Civil Defense- National Disaster Coordinating Council
Department of National Defense
Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, 1110 Philippines
e-mail: lenie017522@yahoo.com
Telefax nos: +632 9120441, 9125947

Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr.
Director, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Department of Science and Technology
Department of Science and Technology
CP Garcia Avenue, University of the Philippines Campus
Quezon City, 1101 Philippines
e-mail: solidr@phivolcs.dost.gov.ph
Tel :+632 9262611, Fax :+6329298366

9. Country(ies)/region(s) where the technology/knowledge/practice originated


Manila, Philippines

10. Names and institutions of technology/knowledge developers

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS)
Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Administration (PAGASA)
Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB)
National Mapping Resource and Information Authority (NAMRIA)
Office of Civil Defense (OCD)

11. Title of relevant projects if any

Strengthening the Disaster Preparedness Capacities of the Municipalities of Real, Infanta and Nakar from Geologic and Meteorological Hazards (REINA Project)

12. References and publications

13. Note on ownership if any

The Project is owned by the Government of the Philippines

IV. Background

14. Disaster events and/or societal circumstances, which became the driving force either for developing the technology/knowledge or enhancing its practice

The Philippines was hit by successive four (4) tropical cyclones (Tropical Storm Muifa and Merbok, Tropical Depression Winne and Typhoon Nanmadol) in November and December of 2004.  The affected areas were Visayas Islands and Luzon Island.  The tropical cyclones triggered floods/flashfloods and landslides and together with the associated strong winds caused destruction and damage to homes, community buildings, agricultural crops, critical infrastructures and lifelines.  The total affected population reached 3.6 million and damages to facilities, infrastructures and agriculture, excluding damaged and destroyed houses, amounted to US$78.2M.  One of the most severely affected areas is the triangular low-lying plain east of the Sierra Madre mountain range in Quezon province, where the municipalities of Real, Infanta and General Nakar (known as REINA) are located.  Hundreds of people died in these areas because of landslides and flashfloods.  The Government of the Philippines sought the assistance of UN Country team to help the Philippine government in its continued rigorous implementation of DRM and DRR programs, thus, the smaller scale REINA Project covering the three Quezon towns was started with similar aims as the scaled up and currently implemented READY Project.

V. Description

15. Feature and attribute

The Project aims to provide immediate, reliable information on the various geological and hydro-meteorological hazards that threaten communities. It is also meant to equip key stakeholder groups, particularly those in the target disaster prone areas, with capacities to prepare for and cope with the impact of natural disaster, strengthen coordination processes and procedures for effective risk reduction and start the process of mainstreaming risk reduction into local development planning. The project uses a multi-hazards, multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral approach involving national government organizations and local governments. The Project is implemented by the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC through the Office of Civil Defense as the executing agency with the Collective Strengthening of Community Awareness for Natural Disasters (CSCAND- a sub-committee on Preparedness of NDCC) Technical Working Group (TWG) headed by PHIVOLCS with PAGASA, MGB and NAMRIA as members.   The CSCAND TWG members are the responsible agencies to deliver the required outputs of the project.  In addition, at the local level, a Local READY Team, composed of regional or local employees of the involved national government agencies and representatives of local government, is also organized to follow-up activities and assists in the coordination aspect of the Project.  Further sustainability is ensured with the assistance and institutionalization of the Local READY Team.

16. Necessary process to implement

Component I.  Multi-hazard identification and assessment (maps are targeted to be produced for the 27 target provinces in the country)

The natural hazards posing threat to concerned communities are documented in the form of multi-hazard maps. The mapping exercise involve the following process:

  1. Table top analysis of the study area, including aerial photo and topographic map interpretation, remote sensing data analysis, mathematical modeling (especially for ground shaking, storm surge and tsunami hazard mapping) and literature research;
  2. Production of preliminary hazard data interpretation and sometimes maps of these areas;
  3. Field verification.  Involves interviews with local residents to gather local knowledge about the concerned hazards, checking out of the landforms and geologic features to verify initial table top interpretation and conduct of surveys using various scientific, geodetic and rock/soil testing equipment. 
  4. Transformation of findings into preliminary hazard maps. Multi-hazard maps such as (1)earthquake-related hazards at 1:50,00 scale (i.e. ground rupture, ground shaking, liquefaction, earthquake-induced landslide and tsunami) (2) volcanic hazards also at 1:50,000 scale, (3) hydro-meteorological hazards, such as rain-induced landslide, floods/flashfloods both at 1:10,000 scale and storm surge at 1:50,00 scale are put into paper and digital form.
  5. Peer review by the multi-agency mapping group (PHIVOLCS, PAGASA, NAMRIA and MGB) with the executing agency.


The accepted results are further transformed into digital format and integrated by NAMRIA.  The integrated maps will then be presented to concerned local government units (LGUs) through the conduct of IEC campaign. Updates and further technical comments are then integrated for the finalization and printing of the maps for further information and distribution to target LGUs, government offices and decision-makers.


The following are examples of the finished multi-hazard maps:



Component  II:  Community-based Disaster Preparedness


1.        Development of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) strategies and materials for specific target groups


The Project’s mapping result is presented to the concerned local government units (LGU) for their information and the maps itself are used for disaster risk management and development planning. In preparation to the IEC event, LGU coordination is done, the maps undergo peer review, dry run for lectures are done, conduct of IEC proper with media/press beefing/conference and the review/report of activity is finally done.


Local leaders (province, municipalities, cities and villages) in action during the conduct of IEC Workshop :



  The Project also produced IEC materials, such as posters and flyers, with standard design and format and using the simplest of the technical terms for each hazards.  Below are samples of such materials:



 2. Establishment of Community-based Early Warning System


The community based early warning systems (CBEWS) for floods and tsunami is a cheap, non-structural mitigating system that empowers the concerned community to plan and act in the event of sudden onset events like floods/flashfloods and tsunami.

In all CBEWS activities, memoranda of agreements are forged between READY agencies and local communities for sustainability.  Under the said agreements, the LGUs provide financial allocations for the operation and maintenance of the CBEWS to ensure the systems’ sustainability.


A.     Community-based Flood early Warning System (CBFEWS)


For floods, a community based and river basin approach is employed and a network of rainfall and water level monitoring gauges in the river basin of concern is installed. The communities occupying each basin are linked together in one CBFEWS with strategically installed rain gauges and water level monitoring system. 

The warning set up is based on source, path and depositional area.  Site survey, installation of monitoring facilities, measurement of the depth or carrying capacities of rivers to establish flood warning levels, on-site and formal training of observers and volunteers and dry run or pilot testing of the system thru a flood drill with the flood prone communities are the procedures and activities undertaken.  Volunteers identified by the LGU officials are mobilized to conduct readings.  The volunteers/observers are trained to observe and transmit the data to the Disaster Operation Centers (DOC) of the city/municipality/village.  The observed data are the basis for the LGUs to issue flood warnings, together with the weather forecasts for the local PAGASA (weather agency) station.

Issuance of warnings will be based on: 

1.       Assessment water levels







Water Level


Flood Warning

Level 1

1.1 m



Level 2

1.5 m



Level 3

2.0 m




     2. Threshold values of rainfall




In brief, the major activities undertaken are:


1.       Consultation Meeting with LGUs where the benefits of a CBFEWS, activities to be undertaken in the implementation phase, role & responsibilities of stakeholders and the agreement on the establishment of the CBFEWS are all explained to the LGU concerned.


2.       Ocular survey of Proposed Sites



Sample of the result of site survey where strategic location of rainfall and tide monitoring stations are identified


3. nstallation of Monitoring and Warning Instrument




 4. Hydrographic Survey is composed of leveling and cross-sectioning of rivers and river flow measurements.



 5.  Drawing-up of Information Dissemination Network



 6. Dry Run on the Operation of the CBFEWS and Community Drill



7. Ceremonial MOA signing & Turnover of the CBFEWS to LGUs





The READY Project implements a community based EWS that:

            involves institutions, instrumentation & community

           people centered

           cheap flood mitigating measure


The success of an EWS is implicit in the operative capability and the response of the community which operates it.


B.     Community-based Early Warning System for Tsunami


For tsunami CBEWS, hazards and risk assessment, evacuation planning, installation of tsunami signage, IEC campaign and tsunami drills are undertaken in pilot sites recommended by the experts in consultation with officials in concerned LGU.  Preparatory activities involve site suitability assessment involving site investigation, gathering of community maps, identification and evaluation of evacuation sites and routes and determination of tsunami signage location.  IEC campaigns are conducted a few days before the tsunami drill. Basic information about earthquake and how it generates tsunami and preparedness activities are taught during these IEC.  The whole community is enjoined to be involved in the actual evacuation. Conduct of an on-site assessment of the results of the activity for purpose of improving the effectiveness of the  exercise is done immediately. 


A set of preparedness activities that teaches a barangay basic tsunami information and appropriate response to its hazard, includes:

1.       Table top analysis for tsunami modeling using the Rapid Earthquake Damage assessment software developed by local scientists at the PHIVOLCS

2.       Coordination Meetings with the LGUs

3.       Pilot Site Selection based on the following criteria:

a.  High tsunami hazard

b.  No other fluvial hazards (flooding from adjacent major river)

c.  Elevated, open area (possible evacuation site)

d.  Access routes (simple barangay layout; wide or uncluttered roads)

e.  Emplaced warning system

f.   Size of population (moderate-size or <1000 -3000)

g.  Largely residential areas (for maximum participation)

h.  Venue for IEC

i.   Security (of CBEWS implementers

j.   Willingness of LGU (Mayor of town//Barangay [village] captain)

k.  Local politics situation


Tsunami evacuation site survey in  Brgy Barobaybay Lavezares,

Northern Samar 




4. Tsunami Evacuation Planning


 5. Development & Installation of Signage (3 kinds) & Batingaw (bell)


6. Tsunami IEC


 7. Tsunami Evacuation Drill

 8. sunami Drill Assessment & Evaluation


C.     IEC campaign conducted for 27 provinces

The READY Project Team are directly responsible for the design and publication of facts about the natural hazards in the country.  Standard format and design for the posters and flyers were established.  Mapping results and IEC materials are disseminated in a province-wide conduct of IEC campaigns.


D.      IEC materials on disaster risk mitigation produced and disseminated to 27 provinces and


E.     Hazard signed (i.e. floods, tsunami, landslide and rock fall) installed in 27 target provinces



Outcome 3:

1.       Develop LGU capacity to integrate risk reduction in development planning though the use of  risk assessment tools like REDAS


The REDAS (Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System) is a seismic hazard and risk assessment software developed by PHIVOLCS-DOST that can produce hazard and risk information which can guide disaster managers in assessing the potential impact and appropriate response immediately after the occurrence of a strong earthquake or in establishing earthquake scenarios. Although originally designed for earthquake hazards assessment, other hazard maps, such as those produced under the READY project are easily incorporated into the REDAS Software. The software also contains a database of earthquake occurrences in the Philippines and also of available data of elements at risk such as location of population centers, houses, roads, bridges, schools and other critical facilities. The database on exposure can be updated easily by local governments. Thus, the software is a tool that can be used not only by disaster managers in planning for preparedness, response or mitigation activities but also by development planners in integrating hazards and risk information in land use and development planning.


A five-day training course is conducted by PHIVOLCS for provincial and city or town development planners and disaster managers under the READY project. An introduction on the local hazards and how the software can be used in integrating hazards and risk information in planning through case studies are given prior to actual detailed lectures and hands on use of the software. The participants are also taught how to map exposed elements (at risk) in the field by GPS and how the update the exposure data base in the software.




17. Strength and limitations

Availability of national and local experts both in the scientific field and DRM. 

Local politics oftentimes sets back the smooth implementation of the Project

The project can only become sustainable if it is supported by both local and national government thru mainstreaming in its programs and allocating appropriate financial requirement thereof.

18. Lessons learned through implementation if any

Multi-hazard approach and tapping expertise of multi-agencies are effective tools in hazard mapping and for conducting public education campaigns.


Development of sustainable community-based early warning systems especially for sudden-onset natural hazards is an effective way to empower communities in disaster risk mitigation.  Nurturing of stakeholders at the local level, however, by concerned agencies during the course of Project implementation is needed.


Effective and sustainable DRM in the community level must always have LGU support to succeed;


Local technical expertise exists in the field of hazard mapping;


It is best to tap local experts for IEC campaigns as they are more familiar with local needs and can relate more with local people; and


It is important to tap non government organizations (NGO) in ensuring sustainable disaster risk mitigation efforts.

VI. Resources required

19. Facilities and equipments required

An institutionalized project management office and working offices of the experts are needed with the corresponding functional working stations for data processing and simulation.  Mapping equipment such as micro-tremor instrument, global positioning system (GPS) usually hand-held, and various geodetic and rock/soil testing equipment are needed.  Rain gauges (automatic and manual), IT equipment and software are also required. 

20. Costs, organization, manpower, etc.

The Project total estimated cost is US$1.9M.  There are primarily five government organizations involved ie. OCD, PHIVOLCS, PAGASA, MGB and NAMRIA. These are the mandated and technical agencies involved in disaster risk management/disaster risk reduction. Mapping of one hazard in a province necessitates 60 man-days.  Conduct of IEC days ranges from one week –two weeks depending on the number of villages the province has.  Establishment of community based early warning systems for floods and tsunami are community coordination intensive. The establishment usually runs from 2-3 months.

VII. Message from the proposer if any

21. Message

Natural disasters know no bounds and limits, but, preparing our communities for its ill-effects is our responsibility regardless of culture and ethnicity.  Thus, this project is in response to the need for a more rational and effective basis for contingency and long term development planning and most importantly, increasing the capacities of our communities to prepare for and respond to natural disasters and ultimately, getting out of harms way.

VIII. Self evaluation in relation to applicability

22. How do you evaluate the technology/knowledge that you have proposed?

It is a technology/knowledge that has high application potential verified by implementation in various field sites.

23. Notes on the applicability if any

This project is most applicable to communities which are prone to natural disaster because of its geologic setting like the Philippines.  Most specifically, for developing countries where DRM and DRR has been starting to gain momentum side by side with Climate Risk Reduction.

IX. Application examples


    E1-1. Project name if available

    READY Project started its implementation in 2006 and its on-going and targeted to be finished by 2011

    E1-2. Place

    27 high risk provinces in the Philippines, finished and on-going provinces are the following:  Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Bohol, Aurora, Cavite, Pampanga, Laguna, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar,  Zambales, Ilocos Sur

    E1-3. Year


    E1-4. Investor

    United Nations Development Programmed (UNDP) Philippines
    Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)

    E1-5. People involved

    General Glenn J Rabonza (Project Manager), Officers and Staff of OCD
    Director Renato U. Solidum, Jr, Officers and Staff of PHIVOLCS
    Director Prisco D Nilo, Officers and Staff of PAGASA
    Director Horacio Ramos, Officers and Staff of MGB
    Undersecretary Diony Ventura, Officers and Staff of NAMRIA

    E1-6. Monetary costs incurred

    US$ 1.9M for the estimated Project costs excluding work stations, salaries and emoluments of government employees involved as these are the counterpart of the Philippine Government

    E1-7. Total workload required

    Please refer to the details in items no. 19 and 20

    E1-8. Evidence of positive result

    Outputs of the project (attached as pictures) and awareness and preparedness of the people in the communities covered and the possible numbers of lives save and properties protected because of the knowledge and technology imparted by the Project are the intangible outputs and results/evidenced by the Project.

X. Other related parallel initiatives if any


XI. Remarks for version upgrade


Similar technologies

By Hazard

> Multi-hazard (10)

> Other (4)

Institutions contributing to DRH Contents (Click here): posted on request