Guide for residents on responding to 14 emergency scenarios

Bukit Panjang MP Teo Ho Pin (centre) launching the Bukit Panjang Emergency Preparedness Guide yesterday with Mr Jonathan Tan (far left), chairman of the team behind the guide, and Bukit Panjang Community Emergency and Engagement Committee chairman Ta
Bukit Panjang MP Teo Ho Pin (centre) launching the Bukit Panjang Emergency Preparedness Guide yesterday with Mr Jonathan Tan (far left), chairman of the team behind the guide, and Bukit Panjang Community Emergency and Engagement Committee chairman Tan Hock Tiat.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

A guide on how to respond to 14 different emergency scenarios, ranging from terrorist shootings to infectious disease outbreaks, was launched yesterday as part of a ground-up initiative by the Bukit Panjang Grassroots Organisation.

The 40-page guide is aimed at helping residents be prepared for potential threats and hazards, whether here or abroad.

Given that more Singaporeans are travelling overseas for work and play, the guide covers steps on how they can stay safe in the event of a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, tsunami or volcanic eruption.

Other information includes a suggested list for an emergency kit, a list of clinics and civil defence shelters in Bukit Panjang, and AED (automated external defibrillator) locations in the area.

Dr Teo Ho Pin, the MP for Bukit Panjang, who came up with the idea of a guide two years ago, launched the Bukit Panjang Emergency Preparedness Guide yesterday.

Speaking at Bukit Panjang Community Club on the need for residents to be prepared for emergencies, he noted how climate change has caused more extreme weather conditions to occur around the globe.

"Singapore has also been affected and will continue to be in the future. Just last year, we experienced the highest wind speeds ever recorded in Singapore's history, which caused devastation to several farms in Lim Chu Kang," said Dr Teo, who is also Mayor of North West District.

"By familiarising themselves with the content featured in the guide and learning how to properly act during these 14 scenarios, Singaporeans can increase their chances of survival and mitigate the worst effects of these crises."

The other scenarios are bomb threats, building collapse, chemical and biological warfare, fires, floods, haze, heavy snow, hurricanes and strong winds, and power failures.

A 15-member team under the Bukit Panjang Community Emergency and Engagement Committee spent seven months last year to come up with the guide.

The team, consisting of grassroots volunteers from various professions, used reference materials such as the Civil Defence Emergency Handbook as well as a Tokyo emergency guide to pick out the best practices.

About 2,000 copies of the new guide will be available at all 10 residents' committees in Bukit Panjang.

The team is also planning free talks, training sessions and workshops for residents, and hopes to distribute the guide to all residents in the North West District.

Team chairman Jonathan Tan said: "The people represent Singapore's first and last lines of defence against any crisis. With a strong, and united people, equipped with the proper skills and knowledge, we can face any trial or tribulation and overcome it."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 20, 2019, with the headline 'Guide for residents on responding to 14 emergency scenarios'. Print Edition | Subscribe