To enhance the public understanding of natural hazards so that appropriate response action can be taken to reduce natural disasters for a safer living environment, the Security Bureau together with five government departments and organisations have jointly organised a year-long public education campaign - "Safer Living - Reducing Natural Disasters".
Speaking at the launch ceremony of the campaign, the Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, said today (March 5) that we ought to think ahead and be vigilant to avoid being caught unawares by natural disasters.
He said the recent tsunami in South Asia had claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and caused incalculable economic loss to the region. The unthinkable damage has reminded us of the vulnerability of men in the face of natural disasters, notwithstanding the advances in material society.
"The objective of 'Safer Living' is to promote public awareness of natural disasters, encouraging members of the public to join in the effort to take precautions against natural disasters," Mr Lee said.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, Mr Lam Chiu-ying, called on the public to take routine precautionary measures against natural hazards. "Storms are dictated by God; safety is ensured by men," he said.
"Storms are destined to come. Whether it will cause casualties or not depends on what precautionary measures we have taken," Mr Lam stressed.
The Chairman of the campaign's Organising Committee, Mr Mak Shu-hei said, "The campaign is also in response to the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction launched by the United Nations in 1999."
Mr Mak said the campaign, the biggest of its kind in Hong Kong, was jointly organised by the Security Bureau, Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD), Hong Kong Observatory, Drainage Services Department, Information Services Department and Hong Kong Red Cross.
Also officiating at the launch ceremony were the Head of the CEDD's Geotechnical Engineering Office, Mr Raymond Chan; the Deputy Director of Drainage Services, Mr Ko Wing-hon; and the Assistant Director of Hong Kong Red Cross, Lady Ivy Wu.
As prevention begins with information, a range of community education programmes are being organised. These include a four-episode TV programme on safer living, a TV programme called "Meteorological Series III" jointly produced by Hong Kong Observatory and RTHK, a tropical cyclone naming contest, popular science lectures, slogan and bookmark design contests, a seminar on natural disaster reduction, a major exhibition at the Hong Kong Science Museum and rescue drill demonstrations.
Members of the public are welcome to attend a three-day exhibition starting today on Government mitigation measures and warning systems regarding common disasters in Hong Kong such as typhoons, flooding, landslides and hill fires at the Central Atrium of Olympian City 2, Kowloon.
For more information on the Safer Living - Reducing Natural Disasters Campaign, please visit the website at http://saferliving.info.gov.hk or call 2760 5800.
Figure 1. Secretary for Security, Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong, speaking at the launching ceremony of 'Safer Living'
Figure 2. Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, Lam Chiu-ying, speaking at the launching ceremony of 'Safer Living'
Figure 3. Ribbon-cutting by Ambrose Lee, representatives of the co-organizers, Chairman of the Organizing committee and Campaign Ambassador to launch the campaign of 'Safer Living'