SINGAPORE: The nationwide effort to prepare Singaporeans for emergencies and contingencies turns 30 this year.
The People’s Association —— which spearheads these activities —— has launched a new emergency preparedness programme for the country that aims to encourage neighbours to know one another better.
Kicking off the launch on Sunday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said emergency preparedness has a role in building a sense of solidarity.
When PM Lee became a Member of Parliament (MP), he said one of his first tasks was to persuade residents to join the Neighbourhood Watch Group programme.
Thirty years later, much has been achieved with community emergency preparedness.
Singapore has enjoyed many decades of peace and stability and PM Lee said this has helped the people to thrive together.
It has also created many good jobs for Singaporeans and also upgraded their living environment in many constituencies.
The government hopes to engage 80,000 residents, or one in three homes in Singapore, to be emergency ready by 2015 through "EP123Plus!".
PM Lee explained the meaning of "EP123Plus".
"EP, emergency preparedness —— one, learn about emergency preparedness and community engagement as one family," he said.
"Two, make patrols at the estate twice a month.
"Three means exchange your emergency contact details with three of your neighbours —— you know three neighbours, each neighbour knows three and you know one another. Anything happens, there is a network, you can call your neighbour, the neighbour can call his neighbour, so EP123!"
Mr Lee said he believes the programme will also help strengthen racial harmony and ethnic relations.
"It means working with one another, and with the government to cope with fires, emergencies, civil emergencies, any mishaps, even with your neighbour.
"Your family member who may collapse, may need emergency help, [so you] must learn how to ’one—and—two—and—three—and—four—and—five’ (CPR resuscitation steps), how to resuscitate him, so we can build a friendlier and more cohesive society and safer place for all of us to live."
PM Lee urged all Singaporeans to continue looking out for one another, be ready for any contingency so that the nation can face the future with confidence and as one people.
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