PETALING JAYA: Malaysians can help prevent floods during the monsoon season just by throwing rubbish responsibly.
“The river near my house overflows its banks every time there is a downpour. People keep throwing rubbish into it, clogging it up,” said Crisis Relief Services and Training spokesperson Olivia Chen.
She added that Malaysians could do more to educate themselves on the links between the environmental and natural disasters and better prepare themselves for emergency situations.
“The Government is doing an excellent job and always acts quickly to provide relief.
“However, in Malaysia, we get at least three months of heavy rain in a year.
“There is a lot that we can do with our surroundings during the remaining nine months to make them less flood-prone.
“The problem is that Malaysians tend to be reactive, not proactive,” she said.
Chen added that her organisation has been trying to conduct more crisis response training workshops.
Mercy Malaysia Disaster Risk Reduction department head Puteri Yusof said that climate change and rapid urbanisation called for a greater need for preparednesss.
“If you live in a flood-prone area, such as a lowland, take measures to elevate your house. If there is a river nearby that always overflows, deepen it and make sure it is clear of trash,” she said.
She added that remembering ”K2P2” was one way to be ready.
“It means two ‘knows’ and two ‘prepares’. Know the risks: identify which hazards in your home and surroundings pose the greatest threats. Know the warning signs: be alert to environmental changes which might sometimes signal danger. Prepare an evacuation plan: prepare a place to go and plan what to do in case of an emergency when you need to evacuate. Finally, prepare a grab bag: put essential items you might need into a bag you can easily get hold of in an emergency,” she said.