PUTRAJAYA: In anticipation of the second wave of floods that is expected to hit Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak soon, the Fire and Rescue Department would be reviewing its Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).
Its director-general, Datuk Seri Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim said his teams are already on high alert and are ready to assist flood victims in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, Johor and East Malaysia when the need arises.
However, he has declined to reveal details of the new SOP.
To date, 12,000 Fire and Rescue Department personnel are have had their annual leave frozen indefinitely and have been asked to be on standby around the clock.
"We have already issued a directive to them to get ready with the necessary equipment. We will be reviewing our SOP from time to time," Wan Mohd told reporters after attending the National Seminar on Playground Safety Standards 2017 in Menara Wilayah on Tuesday.
Also present was the secretary-general of the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government ministry (KPKT) Datuk Seri Mohammad Mentek.
According to Wan Mohd, his department will be focusing more on the flood rescue operations in the East Coast at the beginning of the second phase.
"If you look at the current weather forecast, the second wave will hit the East Coast before travelling down south to Johor, then crossing over to Sabah and Sarawak," he said.
With the official arrival of the monsoon season, Wan Mohd advised the public not to panic. He urged those who live in flood-prone areas to pack their important documents, valuables and get ready to move when asked to do so.
"The public do not have to worry because we have designated flood relief centres for them. Their food and essential items will be taken care of by the officials in charge," he assured.
In its latest statement, the Meteorological Department said that the monsoon season is expected to begin soon in Malaysia, bringing heavy rain for the east coast of peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.
The department said that four or five episodes of heavy precipitation are expected during this rainy season, which will end in March 2018.
It added that heavy downpours are expected in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Johor in November and December.