Responding to Multiple Disasters: Case Study on the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation Emergency Operations Center and Response to Super Typhoon Goniand Vamco During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Connecting Business initiative Secretariat • 30 June 2021

As a leading private sector organization in managing and reducing disaster risks and assisting affected areas, the Philippine DisasterResilience Foundation (PDRF), a Connecting Business initiative(CBi) member network, has been working closely with the government and UN organizations. While a plethora of strategies and practices is being implemented by PDRF, one of the best practices during disaster response is the PDRF EmergencyOperations Center (PDRF EOC). This coordination hub is critical in monitoring and assessing the impact of hazards. Its primary role involves coordinating private sector efforts for disaster response.The role of EOC has played a big part in managing multiple disasters so that others can draw lessons and useful insights.

This study aims to draw experience from the triple whammy scenario in 2020; the overlapping Super Typhoon Goni and Vamcoresponse during the COVID-19 pandemic. As COVID-19 continuously threatens economic and health conditions, the Philippines had dealt with Super Typhoon Goni (known locally as Rolly) and Super Typhoon Vamco (local name Ulysses) in the last quarter of 2020. Super Typhoon Goni was estimated to cost USD231.9M in damaged infrastructure with 24 million people severely affected. Shortly after, Typhoon Vamco struck, causing floods to communities affecting an estimated of 4.2 million people. Since both occurred during a pandemic, the Philippines was forced to address immediate response and impacts to the societies (The Philippine Humanitarian Country Team, 2020).

This case study aims to answer the general question "How does the PDRF EOC respond to multiple disaster scenarios?" It looks into the specific questions:

  • What are the goals and features of the PDRF EOC?
  • How does the EOC operate during a disaster? What are the main roles of the EOC in strategically responding to disasters?
  • How has the EOC managed the multiple hazard occurrence:Super Typhoon Goni, Vamco and COVID-19 pandemic?
  • What are the challenges, lessons and best practices from the triple whammy scenario in 2020?

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