Advance preparation seen as key to overcoming effects of El Nino

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Advance preparation is the key to overcoming El Nino when it strikes, according to the head of the National Weather Service (NWS).
Sam Maiha, the chairman of the National Disaster Awareness and Preparedness Committee and director of NWS, speaking at a meeting in Port Moresby yesterday, said disaster officers should prepare beforehand in order to tackle hardship when disasters struck.
Maiha (pictured) said most of the natural disasters that occurred around Papua New Guinea were weather-related and people should be alert to take appropriate action to overcome the situation quickly.
“Right now the time expected for EL Nino to have started has gone past but that doesn’t mean we stay relaxed by knowing that nothing would happen,” he said.
“Just like preparing early for other things in life, preparing to overcome El Nino anytime must be compulsory because as a disaster community, we need to be prepared on how those natural hazards should be addressed.” Maiha said preparation should not be for El Nino only but for floods and volcanoes too.
“Many times we see preparedness in terms of the response which is not a good initiative.
“We need to be prepared before, during and after any disasters.”
He urged disaster coordinators and disaster management officers from each province to make reports early so that funds could be  released sooner than later.
“The treasury and finance departments must be aware beforehand so that they are able to release funds on time,” Maiha said.
“Communication and coordination are very important to address all the related issues of natural disasters in and around the country.”

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