‘Move quickly to temporary relief centres during flood’

Johor Fire and Rescue Department has conducted online training for village chiefs in flood-prone areas. — Filepic

Johor Civil Defence Force (APM) carried out an online flood safety and management training in October to help village chiefs in flood-prone areas prepare for floods.

Johor APM director Kol Kamal Mokhtar said he hoped that the November and December monsoon period would not be as bad as the one earlier this year where 4,000 families in the state had to be relocated to temporary relief centres.

“We would like to remind those in flood-prone areas to head to designated relief centres as soon as they see water rising,” he said.

They should also prepare a “ready-to-go” bag containing important documents, dry food, drinks, medicine, torchlight and other important items.

Kol Kamal said APM had about 800 personnel on standby, with 200 of them on 24-hour duty every day.

“We have 12 APM offices in the state that operate 24 hours a day.

“They attend to emergency and non-emergency calls received from the 999 emergency line.

“Our personnel have been trained on how to handle the relief centres, search and rescue operations, first aid as well as heavy vehicle and boat navigation.”

He said the Johor APM had also prepared 54 boats, 14 lorries, 700 collapsible tents, 14 ambulances, six four-wheel drives and two Sealegs amphibious craft.

He added that 15,087 people from 3,859 families were transferred to relief centres during the 2020/2021 monsoon, a big rise from the 12,442 people from 3,329 families during the 2019/2020 monsoon.

Kol Kamal urged flood victims in relief centres to be honest about their health condition so that they could be isolated if needed, to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are reminded to contact the district disaster management office or state disaster management office first so that aid can be distributed evenly and in accordance with the standard operating procedure,” he added.

Johor Health Department director Datuk Dr Aman Rabu warned residents in flood-prone areas to be extra cautious as floodwaters could carry water-borne diseases like leptospirosis, melioidosis, cholera, typhoid and bacteria capable of causing food poisoning.

He said those in flooded areas must ensure they use clean water for their daily use.

“Ensure food, drinks and surroundings are clean.

“They should wash their hands after handling items that were exposed to floodwaters which might contain sewage,” he said.

Dr Aman warned that flooded areas could become a breeding ground for Aedes and Anopheles mosquitoes, leading to dengue, malaria and chikungunya cases.

He added that family members of bedridden patients should alert the nearest health facility.

SWM Environment Sdn Bhd corporate general manager Mohd Norlisam Mohd Nordin said the company would work with Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation Sdn Bhd, local councils and Johor government to provide immediate assistance if needed.

“We are ready to provide help, especially in post-flood clean-ups,” he said, adding this would involve temporarily placing roll-on roll-off bins in affected locations for the disposal of bulk waste.

Mohd Norlisam also advised those living in flood-prone areas to dispose of rubbish properly and keep their wheeled bins suitably anchored to prevent the rubbish bins from being swept away during floods.

“This is important to ensure drains and rivers do not become clogged with rubbish when the area floods,” he said.

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Johor Civil Defence Force , flood , safety


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