Mar 142011
 

One click of a mouse or cell phone button. That’s all the effort it will take for useful information to be sent to many. That’s also the same amount of effort to send misinformation to many. Welcome to the world of viral communication brought about by information technology.

Information technology is a double-edged sword. In the hands of a vigilant and thinking user, it can be used to virally spread inspiration, hope, healing, and timely and accurate information. In the hands of morons—of which there are countless here in Cebu, the Philippines, and, as a matter of fact, the whole world—it can be the Sword of Destruction. For fairness’ sake, most of those morons are well-meaning—but morons just the same. (Why? You actually think good intention is the precondition to being not a moron?)

In good times and bad times, try not to help spread rumors, speculations, and misinformation by thinking critically (and, if possible, by verifying your sources of information) before you press that button. Especially in times of catastrophe—whether immediate to you or not—avoid further agitating people’s fears, or stoking the flames of panic that can often be more disastrous than the disaster itself.

You do have a cell phone, don’t you? You’re on unlimited text/call subscription, aren’t you? You do have access to email and the Internet for sure (because you’re reading this rant online). You’re using information technology right now. And the Sword is in your hands. Wield and use it to build and heal, rather than to sow chaos, panic, and destruction.

For those who have unknowingly forwarded rumors about the Japan quake (particularly about the valid scare about radioactive materials reaching Philippine shores via wind or water), here’s something you can virally spread via social networking sites, text messages, email, and the like:

National Radiological Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (RADPLAN)

National Radiological Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (RADPLAN) (downloadable as a PDF file; about 1.1 MB). This document has been prepared by the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI), an attached agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). It is a mirror copy of the one from http://www.pnri.dost.gov.ph/documents/radplan.pdf, which takes centuries to download.

The document contains answers to common questions related to nuclear emergencies such as the following:

  1. What is a radiation-related emergency or radiological emergency?
  2. What are the different types of radiological emergencies?
  3. What are the levels of radiological emergencies?
  4. What is a radiation-related emergency or radiological emergency?
  5. What organizations will be involved in a national radiological emergency response?
  6. How will the operations in a national emergency be managed?
  7. What should the public do in case of radiation-related emergencies

Feel free to forward this public document to as many people as you can. Avoid downloading the PDF file from the PNRI website in order to take load off its servers.

(Special thanks to Dave Bargamento for the huge help in retrieving this document.)

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