The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, NDRRMC for short, works exactly like what its mouthful name describes. However, most of us are more familiar with them for emergency alerts.

For those who are not familiar, the NDRRMC Emergency Alerts are the pings or notifications you get during national disasters. They make a loud buzz that’s intended to get your attention — not to shock or give you a heart attack.

However, hearing those startling notifications and pings only means that the NDRRMC is doing its job. As their name suggests, the goal is to reduce the risks and possible danger that an upcoming disaster (natural or man-made) might cause — which is crucial, especially for an archipelago like the Philippines.

Where are Emergency Alerts coming from?

The Philippines’ National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) has teamed up with local telcos to help distribute emergency alerts.

This system was implemented in accordance with Republic Act 10639 or the Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Law. If you’re worried that an entity can abuse this text blast feature, no need to, as the law stipulates that the alert message should strictly be “hazard-specific, time-bound, and area-specific.”

Why am I getting NDRRMC alerts?

If you live in the Philippines, a country prone to natural disasters like typhoons, then you should automatically receive alert warnings from the NDRRMC. This will let you know what’s happening, or what has already happened (i.e the magnitude of a recent earthquake) so you become knowledgeable and act upon it.

How does NDRRMC send alerts?

The NDRRMC is teaming up with local telcos to send alerts. They then use two different technologies to ensure that everyone will get alerts. There’s the Cell Broadcast Service (CBS) that can distribute alerts much faster. Another is the traditional SMS text messaging for Filipinos who are using older and basic phones.

How to activate NDRRMC alerts?

The NDRRMC can ping your phone with emergency alerts automatically. Most smartphones should get an alert if there’s one, even if it’s brand new. No registration or activation process is needed.

What are rainfall warning levels?

Rainfall warnings, once you know what each level means, will let you easily know the severity of the upcoming rainfall. It comes in three levels: Yellow, Orange, and Red. Each one is worse than the last.

What does the Yellow Rainfall Warning level mean?

This is obviously the lightest one. Also known as the “Be alert” warning, it helps promote community awareness as it’s possible that flooding might happen in low-lying areas and those who are near rivers.

Areas receiving this warning can expect heavy rainfall (7.5 to 15 millimeters per hour) to happen, or has already happened and could possibly last for the next three hours.

What does the Orange Rainfall Warning level mean?

Also known as the “Be Prepared” warning, it asks people to be prepared as the flooding can be threatening to those living near rivers or low-lying areas.

People can expect intense rainfall (15 to 30 millimeters per hour) to happen or has already happened, or if 45 to 65mm is continuously falling for the past 3 hours and will probably continue for another 3 hours.

What does the Red Rainfall Warning level mean?

The most intense one. Also known as the “Take Action” warning, the NDRRMC is telling people to start responding and taking necessary precautionary measures as severe flooding is expected to happen.

This means that torrential rainfall (more than 30 millimeters per hour) has already happened or expected to happen, or if continuous rainfall over the past three hours is more than 65mm and will probably continue in the next three hours.

How to disable NDRRMC alerts?

The steps on disabling emergency alerts depend on the phone you’re using. On most Android phones, you can disable the feature under the Emergency Alerts settings, which you can find in the settings menu, probably under the Security and Privacy settings.

Those who are getting the alerts via SMS text messaging can block the NDRRMC or mute notifications coming from through the SMS app itself or your phone’s notifications setting.

What to do when you receive NDRRMC alerts?

No matter how annoying these notifications can be sometimes, it’s still best to be aware of what alert warnings they bring. Years ago, a lot of communities could’ve benefited from a feature like this. A lot of properties, and even lives, could’ve been saved if people were aware and be able to prepare for a typhoon before it happens.

So if you receive an NDRRMC warning, see if there’s something you can do to be prepared, or give a helping hand to the communities that might need it.

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