MIRI: The state as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) like the Malaysian Red Crescent need to be well prepared to manage disasters.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan said disasters can strike any time and anywhere because of weather and climatic changes globally.
He said disasters like landslides and floods, which rarely occurred in the state in the past, were now frequently reported.
Such disasters cause serious damage to property and also cost people their lives, said Dr Chan during the Volunteer Get Together Night 2010 for the Malaysian Red Crescent Miri Chapter.
As disasters are unpredictable and may strike any time, Dr Chan said: “It is important that we know what to do when the disaster actually strikes. We could reduce the impact if we know how to managed disasters properly.
“The more prepared we are the better. Therefore, we need a lot of people and agencies and bodies, including organisations such as the Red Crescent to be properly organised and trained in disaster management,” he said.
In this context, he challenged the Miri Chapter to be the best in the state and country as far as crisis or disaster management was concerned.
“You must produce members who are not only organised but also trained and can be called upon at any time when and where disaster strikes,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Chan, who is also Miri Chapter chairman, said members are important assets of the organisation.
“Their generous voluntary contribution for humanitarian causes and promotion of Red Crescent principles is one of the key factors for our success today.
“As such, our chapter is always appreciative of members, and constantly plans to develop and motivate them to work to their best ability and to be successful in carrying out activities,” he added.
During the dinner, awards were presented to volunteers ranging from National Awards, to Sarawak Branch Awards and Miri Chapter Awards.
Meanwhile, Miri chapter secretary Tan Lay Yen said the event served to establish closer rapport among members and thereby foster closer coordination and cooperation.
It began with seminar sessions in the afternoon for the youth section and adults or Voluntary Aid Detachments (VAD).