Tips on surviving natural disasters in Malaysia
A talk titled “Natural Disasters in Malaysia: Preparedness, Responses, and Recovery” was organised by the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Committee of Centre for Foundation Studies Kampar on 16 October 2019 at UTAR Kampar Campus.
The invited speaker was Faculty of Engineering and Green Technology Head of Master of Environmental Technology and Master of Sustainable Construction Management Programmes Dr Tan Kok Weng. Also present at the talk were Centre OSH Committee Chairperson Ooi Siew Fong, staff and students.
The talk aimed to educate and raise awareness on the occurrence, prevention, and responses, as well as risk management of natural disasters in Malaysia. The talk also educated participants on ways to manage flood, which is one of the most common natural disasters in Malaysia.
Divided into three key areas, the speaker firstly spoke about “Introduction to Natural Disasters”. He listed the categories of natural disasters and explained that a natural phenomenon is only considered a disaster when it causes damages to properties and loss of lives, as well as affecting social and economic activities. He elaborated further on each type of natural disaster, namely flood, landslide, prolonged drought, earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption and typhoon or hurricanes.
The second part focused on “The Concept of Disaster Risk Management”. Dr Tan emphasised on the reassessment method of risk that consist of two key components, namely hazard X vulnerability and probability X severity. In facing natural disasters, Dr Tan advised participants that they must be able to lower their vulnerability and be prepared against any disasters. He also mentioned that there is disaster insurance available for Malaysians to purchase, which protects one’s property. He also gave an example of reassessment of risk management for flood disasters in Kampar.
At the last session, Dr Tan spoke about “Flood Disaster Risk Management” where he highlighted that the prevention, preparedness, responses and recovery of flood is mostly the responsibility of the government. In Kuala Lumpur, Dr Tan mentioned that retention ponds and SMART tunnel are some of the methods of flood prevention. On preparedness, he advised that the public must be equipped with the knowledge, through awareness programmes and talks. He also mentioned that disaster relief supplies are stored in a centre at Subang Airport, and early warning systems are important to alert the public of the flood disaster. The talk then ended with an interactive Q&A session.