Press Release
August 31, 2011

Legarda Admires Preparedness Measures of the US Government
for Hurricane Irene

Senator Loren Legarda today expressed her admiration to the sense of preparedness and vigilance exhibited by the local government units and people of the Northeast United States in facing hurricane Irene, which they initially dubbed to be "historic" due to its unprecedented possible devastating effects.

"May the local governments in our country draw inspiration and learn from this US experience so we can protect our people and assets from the devastating effects of calamities like this," Legarda said.

The Senator particularly took note of the mandatory evacuation ordered by the affected local government units including New York City which their local government officials managed hands-on in an orderly manner. The local governments made sure there are shelters for evacuees.

She also took note of the real-time updates given by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a government agency which coordinates disaster response in the US.

The Senator also expressed admiration on the US media which did not become too hysterical but only gave a blow-by-blow account of the hurricane's progress. People in affected areas received updates and alerts via mass media and text messaging.

And most importantly, the Senator was impressed by the discipline exhibited by the people, who followed and coordinated wholeheartedly with their government officials who managed orderly mandatory evacuation, especially in low-lying areas which are more prone to flooding, and closed down subways and railway systems.

Also because of the discipline of the people and the political will of their government, the Senator said their canals and waterways were clean which gave way to the steady flow of water to the seas.

"While Hurricane Irene killed at least 40 people, this could have been higher and the impacts more devastating. Local governments were proactive and people followed disaster warnings." "This kind of discipline is what the Filipino people should maintain so we can face natural hazards here and avoid turning them into disasters--just like in the US," Legarda concluded.

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