‘Prepare early for natural disasters’

National 2 minutes, 21 seconds

TEMBURONG

ALL government agencies and members of the public must make early preparations for natural disasters as it helps to reduce the impact on human lives and property, an experienced National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) officer said.

Pg Hj Shaharuddin Pg Hj Matali, a retired NDMC officer, said government agencies should learn how to prepare for natural disasters through the National Standard Operating Procedures (NaSOP) book.

Speaking on the sidelines of a briefing on the procedures at the Temburong Community Hall, he said early preparation is essential for those who will be affected by natural disasters.

“If there are no preparations, we will spend more to repair and recover from the damage, a significant amount of the budget will be used because we didn’t make preparations,” he said.

He said government agencies need to ensure they play their role by understanding and practising the National Standard Operating Procedure book.

The book consists of guidelines and operation procedures of the respective agencies. It focuses on the four stages of disasters - safe stage, warning stage, incident stage and the recovery stage.

Pg Hj Shaharuddin, one of the officers who conducted yesterday’s briefing, said agencies such as the Fire and Rescue Department, Royal Brunei Police Force, and Ministry of Health are already aware of their roles and tasks, but other agencies should also get training.

He said the agencies may need to conduct training for their employees as the skills and knowledge they gained would be more effective if commonly practised.

“This continuous training and practising will ensure their skills and knowledge to handle disasters would be maintained… if there is no practise, it (NaSOP) will just be a piece of paper.

“There is no way to stop a disaster from happening, but we can reduce it (through preparations),” he added.

Meanwhile, Head of Disaster Operation Pg Hj Sabli Pg Hj Damit said the public should also learn and observe the guidelines from the Basic Guidelines for Emergency and Public Safety book.

The book was launched in April 23, 2014, containing guidelines on the steps that are needed to be taken in the event of an urgent situation or disaster.

The guidelines include performing cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), rescuing someone from drowning, surviving a flood, responding to bomb threat, and protection against haze and fire prevention.

He said the book teaches the public on various disasters, from natural to man-made disasters.

“They should learn from this book because when a disaster strikes, they can take suitable actions to help others.

“We need to know how to act, react and know what actions to take before the disaster comes… we have to prepare early instead of waiting for the disaster to happen,” he added.

Pg Hj Sabli said the books are given to the public free-of-charge and copies are available at NDMC.

The Brunei Times