Be prepared for monsoon, village heads urged

KUALA TERENGGANU - All village heads must be prepared for possible disasters brought by the monsoon season, said the Terengganu Civil Defence Department (JPAM).

Its director Lt-Kol Che Adam A. Rahman said the chiefs must have up-to-date and thorough information on their villages and villagers.

This would help avoid any miscommunication and improve efficiency should a disaster happen, particularly during flood relief operations, he said.

"During the massive floods last year, there was no up-to-date information which made rescue work difficult for our team," said Che Adam.

He said village heads and community representatives had an important role in ensuring that such information was made available to rescue agencies during disasters.

"We urge them to be ready and not wait till the last minute," he said.

Among the information that would be needed is, for example, how many pregnant women, elderly and disabled people are there in the village, he said.

Che Adam also said that villagers were sometimes reluctant to follow the orders of rescue teams, or were slow to react.

He said they must evacuate their homes immediately if ordered to.

"They must not delay because water levels can rise very fast and put lives at risk," he said.

He also advised people to prepare a "ready to go" bag filled with their important documents, diapers and milk formula if there are infants, and any vital medication.