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Published: 20 Apr 2011 12:29AM (Singapore)
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Is your home disaster-ready?
Should a disaster hit Singapore, would you know what to do? Get yourself prepared, with the Civil Defence Ready Homes programme.
By Charissa Tan
Mr Ganesan S/O Kulandai and his wife, who participated in the CD Ready Homes programme, standing against the display of emergency kits necessary for the program. PHOTO: Tan Yi Wen

Earthquakes may not affect Singapore as much but other disasters like a major accident, terrorist attack or flu pandemic could.

That is why being emergency prepared is important so people will know what to do in a crisis.

The Civil Defence Ready Homes Programme aims to encourage families to take ownership of their own safety and learn Civil Defence skills.

A joint initiative between the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), the National Fire and Civil Emergency Preparedness Council (NFEC) and the People’s Association (PA), the programme was officially launched on 8th April 2011, at SCDF’s annual workplan seminar.

Using a checklist, residents assess how prepared their households are for emergencies.

The checklist covers aspects like items that a home will need in a crisis such as a first-aid kit and a fire extinguisher.

The proper storage of flammable materials and heat sources, like cooking oil and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders is also on the list.

Families must also go through emergency preparedness training in order to complete the list.

Mr Ganesan S/O Kulandai and his wife, Mdm Kalaich Chelvi D/O Perianan, were among three families who participated in the pre-launch of the CD Ready Homes programme.

As Community Emergency and Engagement (C2E) committee members, Mr and Mrs Ganesan both attended the Community Emergency Preparedness Programme (CEPP).

Attending such a programme, which includes first-aid training, is one of the items on the CD Ready Home checklist.

“We took about 6 months, and spent a lot of time together as a family during the CD Ready Homes Programme,” said senior property officer Mr Ganesan.

“It was all very good. The CD Emergency book has all the emergency guidelines, and steps for us to teach our parents. For neighbours, we arranged to help each other in case of emergencies,” said Mdm Kalaich, who participated in the programme with her husband throughout the six months.

Commissioner of SCDF, Peter Lim, and Mr Masagos Zulfiki pose for a picture, with Mr Mohamed Ibrahim B Abdul Karimone, and his wife, Mdm Siti Al'lauwiyah Binte Mohamed Yusof, one of the three families who participated in the pre-launch of the CD Ready Homes Programme. PHOTO: Charissa Tan

Minister of State for Home Affairs and Education, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, who launched the programme said: “On a national level, if many of our households are emergency ready, then should any emergency happen to our nation, these households will stand ready to react appropriately and with the correct amount of readiness.”

Aside for encouraging families to be prepared for emergencies, the programme hopes to promote neighbourliness in the community too.

Mr Ganesan said: “Our family has definitely spread this Civil Defence awareness to our neighbours. We even arranged to call one another in emergencies so we can help each other quickly before official help comes. This teamwork really makes us all happy working together.”

The CD Ready Homes programme will be made available to the residents at all Civil Defence Division Headquarters, Fire Stations, Fire Posts, Emergency Preparedness Days and community clubs or centres.

To encourage people to take part, SCDF has tied up with sponsors City Gas and General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA) to run a five month contest.

Held between April to August 2011, the 10 best CD Ready Homes each stand to win $1,500 worth of vouchers from the sponsors.

The top teams must complete the checklist and submit a video or photos of how emergency ready they are, such as preparing a Ready Bag, or family members attending CEPP at Civil Defence Division HQs etc.

For more details, do check out the SCDF site for more information.  

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