September 13, 2022
KUALA LUMPUR – The terrible floods that ravaged the Klang Valley last December are still fresh in everyone’s memory, and rescue groups are not leaving anything to chance with the forecast of bad weather ahead.
With the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) predicting lots of rain during the northeast monsoon season at the end of the year, these groups said they are ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.
Crisis Relief Services and Training Bhd (CREST Malaysia) director Dr Yoong Sao Chin said it has conducted training for volunteers while also coordinating its emergency and contingency plans during these workshops.
“Following this, our volunteers are encouraged to be involved in CREST Malaysia workshops being held at places such as schools and also with civil bodies,” he said.
CREST Malaysia is a non-profit organisation dedicated to disaster relief work.
Dr Yoong said coordinating and working with government agencies is crucial during disasters.
“On a larger scale, we will be participating in a coordination group known as National Crisis Response in Kota Baru (Kelantan) next month.
“Here, we will meet and engage with civil bodies, government agencies such as the Fire and Rescue Department and Malaysian Civil Defence Force, schools and village leaders to discuss collective efforts in the event of mishaps due to heavy rains,” he added.
He said CREST Malaysia also conducted a workshop at a school in Temerloh, Pahang, to educate schoolchildren about ways to identify hazardous areas and plot escape routes in flood situations, given that the school is located next to a river.
Dr Ahmad Yusuf Yahaya, chief coordinator of Imaret – the relief and outreach arm of the Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia – said his team is always on its toes when it comes to a potential deluge.
“After the floods last December, the team has been continuously working to anticipate any instance of flooding.
“At the strategic level, this includes strengthening our networks with partners while at the operational level, we continue to prepare for the immediate deployment of medical teams if the need arises,” he said.
Among the measures, he added, was allocating bigger emergency funds for relief efforts and stockpiling supplies such as medicine and hygiene kits.
Dr Ahmad Yusuf also said Imaret was ready to be quickly deployed.
“Our volunteer database is constantly updated with medicine kits also ready to be used by our team.
“Similarly, hygiene kits for 1,000 families are ready for distribution (when needed),” he added.
International Islamic University of Malaysia student union president Aliff Naif said its members have the experience and numbers to help out in the event of floods.
“Our members were sent out to help during the floods that battered Hulu Langat (Selangor) in December last year, and others were sent to Baling (Kedah) in July.
“Whatever it is, we are ready to help where we can,” he added.