Masks meant to kick-start emergency preparedness

We are happy Ms Hasanah Hussain and many members of the public welcome the Stay Prepared Starter Kits ("Distribute masks based on household size, income"; last Saturday). We thank them all for their many ideas too.

As its name suggests, the programme aims to prompt all households in Singapore, regardless of size or income, to be prepared for emergencies. Families or individuals may add these kits to their emergency grab bags for home or travel.

With a useful life until July 2018, these masks can be their initial emergency stock in case of severe flu pandemics or very serious haze.

We also thank more than 1,500 postmen, meter readers and volunteers from Singapore Power and Singapore Post who helped deliver 1.2 million kits, containing 3.6 million masks.

They worked in good cheer, till night, over and above their normal duties, with meter readers continuing delivery through last weekend. Through their tireless efforts, this record delivery to all households should be completed by today.

Singapore Power volunteers will progressively deliver 17,000 kits to 144 charity homes. For instance, Singapore Power and Temasek Cares volunteers visited the Asian Women's Welfare Association community home for the elderly last week to distribute starter kits and share ideas to better prepare for emergencies.

We have another 300,000 kits, or about one million more masks, as standby stock for needy families.

All of us have a part to play in emergencies - businesses, families and individuals. We trust that employers will take care of their employees, including foreign and domestic workers.

Over the next few years, Temasek Cares will continue to explore and roll out various ideas and suggestions to help build a more resilient Singapore community.

This article was published on May 12 in The Straits Times.

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