Today, September 5, 2012, when I reached the UN Avenue side of Manila Doctors Hospital at 7:00 am, I was surprised to see flood at the Phil-Am Building side of the street. I asked an MDH security guard for details of the flood. He said there was a strong downfall of rain at 4:00 am and there was no announced typhoon. So, the flood was a flash flood.
After parking my car in front of the Convenience Store of MDH, I went to TM Kalaw side of MDH to assess the flood there. The flood was not passable to light vehicles. An MDH security guard on the Kalaw side told me MDH doctors had and would have difficulty entering and going to the parking lot on the Kalaw side (Kalaw 1 Parking).
When I went to the Operating Room Complex (as I had a scheduled 7:00 am operation), an anesthesiologist told me he decided to park in the basement of MDH at the UN side because of the flood in Kalaw.
At this time, about 7:20 am, I decided something should be done to assist the MDH doctors who are MDH clients. I called up Mr. Gerardo Ramos, MDH Chief Security Guard, who is well versed in Code Water, to assist me in finding a way on how to assist the MDH doctors. We decided to issue an advisory.
We agreed on this initial advisory: “MDH Perimeter Flood Advisory: Sept 05, 2012, as of 7:30, Kalaw is flooded. It is not passable to light vehicles. To MDH doctors, pls. park in Kalaw 2 Parking Lot. ROJoson – SVPCA / Adviser, SPDPC.”
To avoid delay in sending the advisory (which would happen if we had to call up Dr. Hian Ho Kua or Dr. Faith Gaerlan), I told Bong Ramos to just use my name.
Before I started my operation, I saw the advisory sent by Bong through the MDH operator. It was not exactly the same as what I had advised Bong. So, I asked Bong. He told me he made a last quick assessment of the flood situation before going to the MDH operator. The flood was already passable to light vehicles. Thus, he decided to make the necessary changes. I accepted his explanation and supported his decision.
Later in the day, doctors who received the SMS advisory expressed appreciation. According to the MDH Operator, about 90 MDH staff received this SMS advisory.
Lessons and Insights:
1. MDH can send such kind of SMS advisory on MDH perimeter flood even outside a CODE WATER situation. To the doctors, who are MDH clients also, and particularly to those who park in Kalaw 1 Parking Lot, this is a value-added service.
2. Somebody in authority should act fast in sending the SMS advisory as the flood situation can change quickly, for better or for worst. In this particular event, it was for the better as the flood subsided quite fast after 7:30 am.
3. Doctors should be advised where to park in case of flood in Kalaw that hinders entry to Kalaw 1 Parking Lot. (Note: quite a number of doctors, particularly those who don’t park in Kalaw 2 Parking Lot, don’t know what is Kalaw 2 Parking and where it is. There is a need for knowledge management on this.]