CAMERON HIGHLANDS - Residents here have given the thumbs up to Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) for its initiative to conduct a full-scale, controlled joint drill to help them cope during a flood situation.
Retiree Teoh Yuen Leng, 58, who lives in the Bertam Valley, said that the emergency sirens set up by TNB nearby was a good move to alert residents of any emergency linked to the release of water from the Sultan Abu Bakar dam.
"During the floods last year and in 2013, my relatives in the area were affected.
"We hope the system will help us, especially when a flash flood or any natural disaster takes place. We will continue to show support to the agencies that organised the drill," she said when met during the mock drill operation conducted recently by TNB and agencies.
Bertam Valley village chief Wong Fook Chai said it was the fifth time that such a mock drill had been conducted since 2013.
"I believe the awareness among the residents has heightened. We hope more people will participate in future drills," he said.
He also hoped that the ongoing expansion of the water drainage tunnels would be completed soon to help ease the flood situation.
"It would help the residents a lot if it could be completed before the monsoon season," said Wong.
Recalling the 2013 flood, contractor Yong Peng Kheun said: "One of my neighbours woke me up at about 1am, asking me to run as the water was coming very fast."
"It was hard for me to open my door as the water level reached about three feet. That really scared me as I was with my daughter at home," said Yong, 58.
He said that two of his cars were damaged due to the floods.
"So, I took part in this drill to make sure that I am better prepared. I would like to thank TNB for doing this," he said.
He also hoped that more officers would be on the ground to help those affected by the floods.
"My only concern is there won't be enough officers on the site if a natural disaster occurs," he said.
Another resident from Kg Mensun, Lim Xiao Mei, 45, said that she had taken part in all of TNB's drills.
"I do not want to be caught unprepared. When the floods hit my area, my vegetable garden was damaged. I do not want to be stuck in such situation where I do not know what to do," she said.
Kg Leryar Tok Batin Ahmad Abdullah believed that the residents would remain vigilant during the monsoon season.
"Although we are not as badly hit as those living in the Bertam Valley, we will always be cautious. Last year, we experienced quite a heavy rainfall. We hope things will not be as bad this year," he said.
He was also sure that the residents would co-operate with the authorities during an emergency situation.