Guide launched to help prepare Bukit Panjang residents for various emergencies

Bukit Panjang MP Teo Ho Pin, who came up with the idea of a guide two years ago, launched the Bukit Panjang Emergency Preparedness Guide on March 19, 2019.
Bukit Panjang MP Teo Ho Pin, who came up with the idea of a guide two years ago, launched the Bukit Panjang Emergency Preparedness Guide on March 19, 2019. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - A guide on how to respond to 14 different emergency scenarios, from terrorist shootings to infectious disease outbreaks, was launched on Tuesday (March 19) as part of a ground-up initiative by the Bukit Panjang Grassroots Organisation.

The 40-page guide aims to help 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, a tsunami or a volcanic eruption.

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

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

Speaking at the 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 the North West District.

Natural disasters aside, there are also security threats.

"Terrorism also continues to be a threat to our safety and security. Since 2015, 22 Singaporeans have been self-radicalised," Dr Teo said.

"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," he added.

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


About 2,000 copies of the emergency guide will be available at all 10 residents' committees in Bukit Panjang. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

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 in various professions, used reference materials such as the Civil Defence Emergency Handbook and a Tokyo emergency guide to pick out the best practices.

The chairman of the Emergency Preparedness Resource Team (EPRT), Mr Jonathan Tan, consulted experts from the Singapore Civil Defence Force, the United States-based Federal Emergency Management Agency and a fire department in Ontario, Canada, to verify the contents in the guide. The experts assisted the team in their personal capacity.

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

The EPRT 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.

Mr Tan, a businessman, 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 them."