This report provides an overview of the Preparedness programme and activities undertaken by Singapore to prevent and manage disasters. The Republic of Singapore is a small island City State with a land area of about 600 square kilometres with a multi-racial population of about 2.9 million people. Geographically, Singapore is just outside the ‘pacific Rim?of Fire’and is thus spared from the ravages and destruction caused by natural phenomena such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The Ministry of Home Affairs is the principle policy and directing authority responsible for civil defence emergency preparedness and disaster management.
Singapore’s Emergency Preparedness Programme and disaster management activities are supported by various laws. This Act provides the legal framework for, amongst other things, the declaration of a state of emergency and the deployment of operationally ready national service rescuers to support the SCDF.
This Act provides the legal framework to impose fire safety requirements on commercial and industrial premises as well as the involvement of the management and owners of such premises in emergency preparedness against fires.
This Act provides a legal framework to require all new houses and flats and suitable buildings owned by statutory boards to be provided with civil defence shelters and to designate any part of any building as civil defence shelters for use by persons needing to take refuge therein during a state of emergency, and to regulate the use of civil defence shelters. To ensure that the contingency plans are comprehensive and effective, drills and exercises are conducted by the various emergency authorities. In the management of disasters, the Singapore Civil Defence Force and the Singapore Police Force are supported by other government agencies, viz.


Singapore has an on-going exchange programme with a number of countries from the Asia-Pacific and Europe.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force has since assisted the Philippines in the Baguio Earthquake rescue operation in 1990 and Malaysia in rescue operation in the collapse of the. Singapore deeply values the exchange of ideas and sharing of expert knowledge and technology in disaster prevention and management. Under its command are two emergency agencies - the Singapore Civil Defence Force and the Singapore Police Force which are responsible for planning, co-ordination and implementation of the various programmes and activities.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force is responsible for the conduct of fire fighting and rescue operations at the disaster site and the transportation of victims to hospitals for medical treatment. Over the last few years, the Singapore Civil Defence Forces responded to an average of 13,500 emergency fire and rescue, and 60,000 ambulance calls. The various emergency authorities in Singapore, especially the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Singapore Civil Defence Force and the Singapore Police Force meet their respective foreign counterparts from time to time to exchange views and experiences on emergency preparedness and disaster management. Some examples include the training attachments for the Brunei fire services and training for the Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Teams (SMARTs).
An example is the weekly Monday Morning Fire Exercise conducted by the Singapore Civil Defence Force for various commercial high-rise buildings.
The Singapore Police Force is responsible for the security, investigation and traffic management as well as co-ordination matters.


Major Incidents that the Singapore Civil Defence Force had responded to in the last 2 years included the fires involving tyres warehouse?and chemical factory. A number of Singapore Civil Defence Force’s personnel were attached to the fire services of Japan and Hong Kong for training in order to benefit from the experiences of these countries.
Singapore has a lot to learn from countries with vast experience in managing disaster reduction programmes.
It garners all efforts to promote and institutionalise emergency preparedness among its people, while developing and exercising contingency plans for a range of foreseeable disasters to be executed by various emergency agencies in close co-ordination. In addition, the Singapore Civil Defence Force also conducts regular training exercises to hone the operational readiness and capability of the emergency response personnel. The long-term goal is to have at least one person in each household to be educated or trained in emergency preparedness. We have been learning and adopting suitable ideas for use in our own local context and over the years have been able to develop proficiency in some areas of disaster preparedness response, particularly in the area of disaster prevention and education and in handling and mitigating disasters in urban environment. These are areas in which Singapore would be able to share our own experience with other countries.



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