SINGAPORE - To better prepare Singaporeans to handle a range of emergencies from fires and medical emergencies to war and terrorist-related incidents, an Emergency Preparedness Centre has been set up by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)
It offers tips on areas such as fire safety and life-saving skills, and features exhibits including an 'Icube' which uses virtual reality 3-D immersive technology to give the visitors a near realistic experience of natural disasters such as typhoons and tsunamis.
The centre is located on the second floor of the SCDF's heritage gallery, next to Central Fire Station.
"Being prepared may not stop all incidents from happening, but it allows us to respond more quickly and effectively to emergencies, and better manage the consequences," said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean at its official opening on Monday.
In his speech to about 100 SCDF officers and community partners, Mr Teo who is also Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs, noted that the recent terrorist incidents in Sydney and Paris were resolved decisively because security agencies had prepared and trained well for them.
"The community also responded well, carrying on with life as normally as possible, and refusing to let their lives be disrupted," Mr Teo said.
While Singapore's security agencies also work round the clock to prevent terrorism, it is not possible to say that an attack will not happen here, he added.
"In carrying out such acts of violence, the perpetrators seek to divide the community and to strike fear in innocent people. We must not allow such acts of violence to divide our society.
"We should stand united and condemn the actions of these particular individuals who hold extreme views; and recognise that their violent acts and attempts to justify them do not reflect the beliefs, and are indeed rejected by, the wider community."
He added that Singaporeans must also carry on with their lives and not allow fear to paralyse society or prevent them from their daily activities.
The Emergency Preparedness Centre will be open from Tuesday to Sunday, including public holidays, from 10am to 5pm. Entry is free, but prior bookings have to be made online at the SCDF's website (www.scdf.gov.sg).