As a self confessed hoarder, I hoard because of various reasons. Before I write my reasons, I better change the hoarding into stockpiling. They meant the same thing but I like stockpiling better. To many, a hoarder is someone who hides away goods secretly and cashing in to make a profit at the expense of others. I would rather like to be compared to a squirrel stockpiling nuts for the winter for it's own survival sake.
Like most Singaporeans, I was born and brought up in a country almost free from all natural calamities such as typhoon, tornado, earthquake and tsunami until I went to live in countries where earth tremors are frequently felt and cyclonic weathers can prevail for weeks. Having lived and survived an earthquake that totally obliterated the township of Rabaul in East New Britain Province of Papua New Guinea, I know one thing to be true: in a large scale emergency, until outside helps arrive, everyone is own their own. It may take a few days coming; you’ll need to provide for yourself. I have learnt from this life threatening experience that to be self reliance and being able to look after yourself is no exception but also able to offer help to our family and friends if they need it. And to do that, we must have a stockpile of various goods. The most obvious thing to stockpile is food and water. And equally important are special items such as prescription medications and infants formula.
The fact that Singaporeans are so globalised these days; they may be put in an emergency anywhere in the world without much warning. Just like our recent devastating bushfire in Victoria that killed nearly two hundred people and untold miseries to many more in a matters of few hours. It can be any situation or threat of an emergency that is caused by some event whether it is natural (e.g. earthquake, bushfire, tsunami), technological (e.g. power failure), epidemic (e.g. SARS) or human-caused (e.g. September 11th terrorist attacks,Munbai bombing), that negatively affects the health, safety or property of a significant portion of the people in a community.
There is no excuse for not doing your homework. If you are new to a country, go to their websites and read about their emergency measure and plan. As an important step in ensuring themselves (especially true for Overseas Singaporeans) and their family is to have a proper emergency management program in place, and annually update your Emergency Measures Plan so that it reflects the procedures that would work best in managing an emergency in the country where they are living or studying. To be continued...