ABOUT 1,000 Civil Defence Force (APM) personnel are on standby in Johor to be mobilised for flood relief efforts.
As the nation heads towards the monsoon season, Johor APM director Asst Comm Kamal Mokhtar said its manpower and assets were ready to help victims, especially at the 141 flood hotspots that have been identified throughout the state.
“The north-east monsoon season usually takes place from November to March but looking at previous incidents in Johor, heavy flooding typically occur from December to February.
“We are on standby and we have divided the state into the northern and southern zones, each covering five districts for more efficient mobilisation of manpower,” he told reporters when asked about APM’s flood preparations at a press conference.
As part of its preparations, APM personnel had been given training and courses on temporay flood relief centre management, asset operations and disaster management, he added.
Asked whether Johor APM had adequate assets for flood response, ACP Kamal said the staff had been reminded to maximise the use of available assets.
“Moreover, flood relief work is not a solo effort as we usually work hand-in-hand with other government agencies,” he said.
Separately, ACP Kamal said APM was conducting test runs for its public warning system (PWS) at the Johor Baru APM office in Bandar Baru Uda to ensure that the siren wails could be heard within the stipulated range.
According to him, the siren, when sounded, could be heard by those within a 2km-radius during the day – that is from Taman Nong Chik to Taman Damansara Aliff – and even further at night.
“The PWS, which is the only one currently installed in Johor, serves to alert residents and the public about onset disasters and emergencies such as floods, riots and air attacks.
“There are three types of siren warnings, according to international standards, that will be sounded to alert the public to exit the building, enter the building as well as to indicate the end of an emergency,” he said.
ACP Kamal said his personnel would be engaging with local communities to educate them about the functions of the PWS and to differentiate the warning signals as part of its safety and civil defence educational programme series.
The PWS had also been installed in other states throughout the country, he added.