KUCHING: The Civil Defence Department is ready to spring into action should floods occur in Sarawak.
Its state director, Kol (PA) Mohtar Samat, said the department was able to deploy 1,000 personnel in the first hour of floods and another 5,000 for follow-up action.
In terms of logistics, he said, the department had eight lorries, 24 four-wheel drive vehicles, 27 boats and 18 ambulances.
“We have carried out early preparations, including community engagement programmes to train the people to be ready for floods.
“We have also identified flood-prone areas in the state and will station our personnel there so that they will be in place in case of continuous heavy rain,” he told a press conference yesterday.
Mohtar said the department was monitoring the weather forecast from the Malaysian Meteorological Department and the water level of rivers from the Drainage and Irrigation Department.
He said it would also work together with other agencies like the National Security Council, Welfare Department, police, Fire and Rescue Department and local authorities in disaster relief efforts.
Meanwhile, the department urged the public to take part in its training programmes in order to increase their awareness and preparedness for floods.
It also advised residents to be ready to evacuate when flood waters started to rise and when directed to do so by the authorities.
“They should get ready essential items like clothes, towels, blankets, medicine and food, ensure that important documents can be easily retrieved for safekeeping, look after their personal safety and restrict children from playing in floodwaters,” it said.
The public can go to the department’s website at www.civildefence.gov.my for more information on how to prepare for emergencies and disasters, including floods. – By SHARON LING