These days, I feel edgy. As mayor of a large city, I am responsible for protecting the people. There are many factors threatening their safety, including scorching heat, drought, flood, interruption of power supply, accidents caused by harmful substances, etc. According to the weather forecast, the monsoon season this year will start on June 17, earlier than normal, and we should be ready for frequent local concentrated downpour.
We at Seoul Metropolitan Government will start taking comprehensive measures to protect people from such threats. Seoul Metropolitan Fire & Disaster Headquarters will make all-out efforts focusing on prevention, customized safety measures against different types of disasters, and education of people and publicizing among them. A total of 6,400 firemen in the 23 fire departments in Seoul will be in a state of emergency preparedness until the end of August.
First of all, we will check a total of 10,924 facilities — including those where toxic substances are handled with the help of civic organizations and with focus on emergency preparedness against the leak of toxic substances.
This summer, the whole country will be in a state of emergency against the possibility of blackout due to the expected power shortage owing to the supply of defective parts to nuclear power plants. A total of 300 emergency rescue squads will be in operation to provide help to people trapped in an elevator or things like that. With regard to the safety of people enjoying sports in Hangang (River), safety crews will be in operation in three places (i.e., Gwangnaru, Nanji, and Mapo/Mangwon) in addition to the regular rescue squads on standby in Gwangjin and Yeongdeungpo. The crew will work on a three-shift system.
In June, we will select 500-plus volunteer rescue crew members who will serve in Hangang (River) and Jungnangcheon Stream. A team of flood prevention workers will be in operation with focus on the lower reaches of streams. The team will include 23 fire department chiefs and 115 chiefs at safety centers, and they will monitor a total of 435 places. A total of 4,660 disaster monitors consisting of volunteer firemen will also be in operation. A joint team of the 119 Emergency Rescue Squad, Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation, and KORAIL will carry out a drill against possible flood-related accidents at subway stations in Yeouinaru, Mapo, Cheonho, Apgujeong Rodeo, and Seoul Forest.
A total of 140 rescue squads will be ready to respond to emergency calls during the period when hot weather warning is issued and against emergency situations such as landslide or getting locked out of the house. Fire trucks will also be ready to supply potable water during the long dry spell. In addition, we will provide safety education, such as the one held at Gwanghwamun Square every third Sunday of the month and once a week at outdoor riverside swimming pools.
Some people have christened me Mr. Meticulous. I do not mind; we at Seoul Metropolitan Government will do our best to enhance the capability to cope with emergency situations through meticulous check and training so that Seoulites may lead carefree lives.