Calamity can strike at any time and it often happens with little or no warning. Rescue workers may take time to reach an area following a disaster. That’s why it’s so important to be ready in case of a crisis. In order to help prepare people in Singapore for a range of emergencies, Temasek Cares launched the ‘Stay Prepared’ initiative in 2014, part of the Temasek Emergency Preparedness Fund (T-PREP Fund), with an endowment totalling S$75m from Temasek Holdings.
On March 18-20, 2016, Temasek Cares organised an outreach event at Tampines Mall so that members of the public could be taught important techniques and skills to help them better deal with emergencies. During the three-day event, people who came by were taught how to use automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in case of cardiac arrest, how to operate a fire extinguisher correctly, and how AIR+ Smart Masks and ventilators work to protect children and seniors from severe haze or flu pandemics. Psychologists and therapists from KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital were also at hand to talk about the different types of trauma children can experience and how best to help them through those difficult situations. Certified trainers from the Singapore Heart Foundation taught people how to apply continuous chest compression resuscitation techniques to save lives. The event drew crowds over the weekend to its numerous interactive stations and it is estimated that about 12,000 people acquired useful skills and knowledge of how to be best prepared for unforeseen incidents and crises.
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About the ‘Stay Prepared’ initiative
‘Stay Prepared’ supports programmes that:
• Help people in Singapore be ready for a range of emergencies
• Build longer term capability and capacity of the community in emergency preparedness
• Provide assistance in emergencies
• Complement national efforts and foster collaboration with private sector partners, voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) and community groups to achieve emergency preparedness.
For more information, please visit www.stayprepared.sg.
Why good planning can help save lives
Countries with well-developed health systems and a well-trained, well-equipped health workforce are much better geared up for disasters. When a community is well-prepared, many lives can be saved in the first hours after disaster strikes and before external help arrives. The people in the community know local risks and their own needs best. At the time of an emergency, prepositioned supplies combined with robust and well-trained staff, enable responders to reach a greater number of affected people with timely and appropriate relief. As history has demonstrated, this critical planning and risk mitigation can dramatically reduce the negative impact of disasters.
Did you know…
When the body is under stress, it moves into survival mode, also known as the fight-or-flight response. Under these conditions, the body produces adrenaline and stress hormones, which interfere with the executive functions of the brain. As a result, panic makes us behave in an emotional rather than logical manner. Since staying calm during crises is critical to saving lives, having at least “rehearsed” certain tasks such as CPR or using a fire extinguisher can help us stay in control during emergencies. The more prepared you are, the better you will be able to focus on what needs to get done during those critical moments.