PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia should consider using SMSes to better warn the public about disasters in their areas, says Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the existing usage of warning sirens may not be enough to alert the public during instances of floods and such.
“Sometimes the public is not aware of the sirens or what they are for. So I have suggested that we improve the early warning system for disasters by sending out SMSes, for example.
“An effective early warning system is vital to minimise the amount of damage towards properties, and even save lives.
“More awareness and educational programmes should also be organised so that the public are more aware of our early warning systems,” said Dr Wan Azizah after a meeting with National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) officials.
Dr Wan Azizah also said climate change must be studied thoroughly these days as to better prepare the country for rare disasters such as droughts, forest fires and earthquakes.
“These disasters seldom occur in our country, but we cannot ignore them and must prepare for such eventualities,” she said.
Nadma, she added, needs to conduct an audit on disaster risks for each state because they differ from one state to another.
“The east coast of Peninsular Malaysia is usually prone to floods, while the west coast is exposed to the risk of tsunami and tremors originating from the west (of the peninsula),” she said.
Also present at the press conference was Nadma director-general Datuk Dr Ahmad Jailani Muhamed Yunus.