DISASTER PREPAREDNESS
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DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT

Disasters can strike anytime and anywhere and those in need can’t wait; their needs are urgent. While Malaysia is fortunate to be in a geographic position where it is not vulnerable to major natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes, it is nonetheless exposed to emergencies such as floods, droughts, the haze and enemy insurgence.

The Malaysian Red Crescent is well prepared to help vulnerable local communities during these emergencies. Working with the government, we ensure that supplies are available and our volunteers equipped and ready to be mobilized.

Following a disaster our workers and volunteers provide vital assistance for people’s basic needs including emergency lodging, emergency food supplies, emergency clothing and family reunification.

We work in partnership with first responders, emergency managers and public officials to support their response activities. We also work in collaboration with other voluntary sector organisations.

In addition to local communities we also support our counterparts in other parts of the world, in their time of need, whether by sending our volunteers and responders or raising disaster relief funds.

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DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT IN MALAYSIA

Disaster risk arises when natural hazard hazards interact with physical, social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities. What is worrying is that natural hazards are on the rise.

In 2010, more than 208 million people were affected by natural hazards. What is even more alarming is that, should current trend continue, some 100,000 lives will be lost annualy while the costs of natural disaster will be more than US$300 billion per year by 2050.

The establishment of a Disaster Risk Reduction (DDR) is crucial to reduce the damage caused by natural hazards like earthquake , floods, drought, and cyclones, through an ethic of prevention.

The Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) places significant importance on DRR where it supports local civil society, communities, households and individuals to become less vulnerable and strenghten their capacity to anticipate, resist, cope and recover from natural hazards.

 

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While Malaysia is fortunate to be in a geographic position where it is not vulnerable to earthquakes and cyclones it is, however, exposed to other emergency situations like floods, storms, drought, the haze and enemy insurgence. Malaysia has been experiencing frequent disaster such as flood and landslides where the country faced enormous property loss and livelihood damages like it did during the Johor floods in 2007 and more recently the flooding in the East Coast.

 

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The UN International Strategy For Disaster Reduction,2007 describes DRR as :

“The concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyze and manage the casual factors of disasters, including through reduced exposure to hazards, lessened vulnerability of people and property, wise management of land and the environment, and improved preparedness for adverse events.”

The terminology, however has changed over the years, but the concept of DRR is well entrenched in the strategic plans of the MRCS. Since the adoption of the five-years strategy in 2005, MRCS has established the Disaster Management Centre at its Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur with three sub-centres in Penang, Kota Bharu and Johor Bharu. It has a team of dedicated workers who are well prepared to help vulnerable local communities during these emergency situations.

MRCS ensures that it always has sufficient supply and volunteers equipped and ready to be mobilised at short notice. Following a disaster, the MRCS team and volunteers provide vital assistance to people’s basic needs including temporary shelter , food supplies and clothing.

Internationally, MRCS has provided aid and support since the early 90s including several eartquakes in the Asian Region. MRCS is further enhanceing its Disaster Management System as well as Training and Equipping all its volunteers to be efficiently prepared to respond to any humanitarian projects.

 

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