Due to the rapid urbanisation as well as climate change happening around the world, we are now becoming more at risk and easily affected by natural disasters such as flooding. In Malaysia alone, news on communities affected by floods can be heard, seen and read almost every quarter of the year, a costly event every time it hits us, confirming the worsening severity, frequency and impact of this particular natural calamity in our country. – Mercy Malaysia
Great Economic Costs
Floods cost the government, businesses and individuals millions to billions of ringgit every year. According to the World Bank report, an estimated 29,800 sq kms of Malaysia were flooded every year, affecting almost 5 million people with damages of almost US$300 million. Various cost factors include repair works, relief for flood victims, replacement of physical capital and at times, loss of human capital.
The World Bank has reported that Malaysians must brace for more floods as there are more floods in Malaysian cities today than there were a decade ago. The problem is here to stay.
Projection of increase in floods is attributed to rapid development and environmental degradation that have caused worse and more frequent occurrence of floods and landslides, especially in urban area.
Rapid development in densely populated flood plains, flood-prone areas or hill-slopes, together with environmental degradation, particularly deforestation, increased the vulnerability to floods and landslides. – World Bank
- In February 2011, more than 50,000 people in Johor were evacuated after floods hit the state.
- In December 2011, Kajang experienced its worst floods in 40 years.
- Early 2012, Johor, Pahang, Sabah and Sarawak were hit with floods that caused the evacuation of thousands of flood victims.
- Flash floods hit KL caused thousands to be stranded. Heavy rain caused Sg Bunus to overflow and thigh-high floodwaters cut off traffic along Jalan Tun Razak.
Flood may happen anytime and anywhere. Flood conditions change rapidly that can cause severe flooding to develop in a very short time. The best way to protect yourself is to be prepared before it happens. As the Malay proverb puts it, “Malang tidak berbau.”
Ways you can prepare yourself before a flood
- Keep up with flood news by visiting InfoBanjir.
- Take note of emergency contact numbers and relief centres that are closest to you.
- Prepare emergency plan and practise flood evacuation route with your family.
- Have an electrician raise your home electric components such as sockets.
- Store important documents and valuables in a waterproof container or safe.
First Alert waterproof products
The First Alert Disaster Resistant Ready-Seal™ Safe and First Alert Security Chest are waterproof safes even when 100% submerged in water, keeping your documents and valuables undamaged and dry. The safes are airtight, allowing them to float in an event of a flood. Lastly, these safes are anti-rust.