In a nutshell: move to higher ground.
There used to be a time when floods were a pretty common occurrence in Singapore. Over the decades, the country’s improved infrastructure has greatly reduced major floods but given the heavy rainfall and high tides in Singapore, flash floods are still unavoidable, especially in low-lying areas.
With rainy days upon us as the year is ending, Singapore is about to get wet. (Tip: The National Environment Agency (NEA) issues a Heavy Rain Alert here.)
If ever you find yourself trapped in a flood, follow these useful advices from the authorities.
If you are at home
• Stay put but grab your Ready Bag and be prepared to evacuate immediately when advised to do so by the authorities.
• If you think that it is dangerous to remain at home, dial 995 or 999 (giving your name and address) and evacuate immediately, moving to higher ground away from open areas, streams and storm drains.
• Tune in to the local radio stations for updates from the authorities.
If you are in a vehicle
• Be alert to signs of flooding.
• Do not drive around barricades as they are put up for your safety.
• If the vehicle stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and try to get to higher ground.
• Do not walk through moving water as a mere 15 cm high of moving water can make you fall; if you must, use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you and try to walk in stagnant water.
• If you need help, call 995 for the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) or 999 for the Police.
For more advice on what to do in an emergency in Singapore, refer to the Civil Defence Emergency Handbook.
By Muneerah Bee, October 2016