In the face of approaching tropical storm Bolaven, the University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability and Sea Grant team took a proactive step on Monday, October 9. Their goal? To connect with the community and distribute the “Mariana Islands Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards” at strategic locations.
Key spots were chosen because the community is gearing up for Bolaven and engaging in last-minute shopping for essentials. The outreach at these locations aims to inform and empower the community with knowledge and resources.
While it is impossible to prevent all damage from storms, typhoons and natural hazards, the team emphasized, while distributing the manuals, that staying informed, planning, and responding appropriately can significantly reduce risks and save lives.
Kyle Mandapat, UOG CIS and Sea Grant Associate Director for Communications and Community Engagement, emphasized the significance of their mission, “Today we are giving out our homeowners’ handbook for typhoon and disaster preparedness. We are giving them out to people in the community as we prepare for the incoming storm that may be making its way toward us.”
Mandapat underscored the importance of having accurate information. “As people prepare for the incoming storm, we want to make sure that the community has the proper information to safely secure their homes and offices, and their families.”
Meanwhile, Phil Cruz, UOG CIS and Sea Grant Sustainability Coordinator, shared the team’s success. “Today, we distributed 287 handbooks at Benson’s and Maite Payless”
Cruz highlighted the handbook’s content. “It has a family checklist with important emergency information, a checklist of supplies that you need for the typhoon, and a checklist of what to do after the typhoon. It also has information on how to address injuries from storms, among other things. It also has references for other types of disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis.”
The handbook is a result of collaborative efforts involving the UOG Sea Grant program and its partners, such as the University of Hawai’i Sea Grant College Program, UOG Cooperative Extension and Outreach, and CNMI (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) Coastal Resource Management.
Furthermore, the UOG Sea Grant team received support from organizations like the National Weather Service – Forecast Office Guam, Guam Building Code Council, Guam Homeland Security, and the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Coastal Storms Program grant in developing and gathering resources for the manual.