Hong Kong – Prudence Foundation, the regional charitable arm of Prudential Corporation Asia, announced on May 22 it has teamed up with international boxing champion and humanitarian Manny Pacquiao, together with National Geographic Channel, part of the FOX International Channels (FIC) network, to launch Safe Steps. The first-of-its-kind pan-Asian public service initiative, Safe Steps seeks to enhance disaster preparedness and awareness in the region through the dissemination of educational survival tips in response to natural disasters.

Asia Pacific is the region that is most prone to and affected by natural disasters worldwide. In the past four decades, 75 percent of the world’s natural disasters took place in Asia Pacific, resulting in a loss of up to two million lives.

Safe Steps

Safe Steps is a long-term disaster preparedness educational programme with multiple platforms covering on-air videos, an informative website and educational collateral that can be shared through community-based activities. Core to the programme is a series of 60-second educational videos produced by FIC and National Geographic Channel, featuring Safe Steps Ambassador Pacquiao who advises on key survival steps that individuals and households should take when disasters strike.

Barry Stowe, Chairman of Prudence Foundation and Chief Executive of Prudential Corporation Asia, said, “Disaster preparedness and recovery is a key pillar of Prudence Foundation. We are delighted to launch Safe Steps which marks a valuable step forward in building resilient communities. It has been a key priority of governments in Asia to improve the readiness of communities to respond to disasters and reduce disaster risks. As a leading life insurer that focuses on helping people manage uncertainty, we believe Safe Steps will help reinforce these efforts and address this critical need. Being prepared is the first and most important step in handling and surviving a disaster. It is extremely important for people to be equipped with the knowledge of how to protect themselves when a disaster strikes.”

Commenting on his role as the Safe Steps Ambassador, Pacquiao said, “I am happy to partner with Prudence Foundation and National Geographic Channel on Safe Steps, and honoured to be its ambassador. As soon as the programme was presented to me, I wanted to do it, no question. Having personally witnessed the devastation by typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban last November, I strongly believe this is an important campaign that can help save lives, not just in the Philippines but the whole of Asia. With these tips, we all can be survivors!”

Marc Fancy, Executive Director of Prudence Foundation, said, “Manny is the natural choice to be the Safe Steps Ambassador. He is a survivor; he understands the impact of natural disasters first hand coming from the Philippines. He is also an icon and a humanitarian. As soon as Manny learned of the programme and his role, he agreed to do it in a heartbeat. We are very grateful to him for donating his time to such a worthy cause, and for his and National Geographic Channel’s support on this initiative.”

Safe Steps will initially focus on the survival steps of the most common disaster situations in Asia namely typhoons, earthquakes, floods and fire, as well as tips on how to prepare for a life-saving emergency kit. The videos on Typhoon and Earthquake will start airing on May 23 across Asia on 13 channels on the FIC network, namely National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo People, FOX, FOX Crime, FOX Movies Premium, FOX Sports, FX, Star Movies, Star Chinese Movies, Star Sports, Star World and Channel V reaching viewers from over 24 million households in Asia. The video content will also be available in eight local languages – Cantonese, Mandarin, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Malaysia, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese and Khmer.