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Director Sandra Oudkirk of American Institute in Taiwan led colleagues to visit Taipei Emergency Operations Center

Director Sandra Oudkirk of American Institute in Taiwan led colleagues to visit Taipei Emergency Operations Center
On February 15, Director Sandra Oudkirk of American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) led AIT colleagues to visit Taipei Emergency Operations Center. Mayor Ko Wen-je, Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang, Deputy Mayor Ping-Kun Tsai, Mayor’s Office for External Affairs Commissioner Tom Chou, and Taipei City Fire Department Commissioner Chun-Hong Wu received the AIT visit team in person. To celebrate the Lantern Festival, Mayor Ko especially prepared a traditional special delicacy for the festival, yuanxiao, as gifts for Director Oudkirk and prayed for safety and health of every visitor for the coming year. Through the experience sharing, the Taipei City government helped AIT understand Taipei City’s disaster prevention capacity and future cooperation directions.
Mayor Ko stated that global warming and climate changes have caused numerous natural disasters across the world. According to a Bloomberg News report, the 10 major natural disasters in 2021 caused losses of NTD 4.7 trillion, which was NTD 560 billion higher than the losses in 2020. The cost of climate changes increases year by year and thousands of precious lifes were lost because of the disasters. Disaster prevention is not only a city-wide issue, but a global issue to be faced and solved with cooperative efforts.
Taipei City with its high population density and a location seeing frequent typhoons and earthquake is vulnerable to personnel or property losses once a typhoon, earthquake, or fire occurs. In particular, the ratio of firefighting manpower to the general public was 1 to 1400. To mitigate the personnel shortage, considerable resources have been input to reinforce firefighting equipment and personnel training.
Like treatment of diseases, disaster rescue must be ensured at the earliest time to reduce casualty effectively. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the United States presents excellent effectiveness in emergency response integration. The Taipei City fire department members visited FEMA to perform on-site research and introduced full emergency management systems that are suitable for Taipei City to maximize efficiency in disaster prevention.
The Taipei City government invited Director Oudkirk and her team to understand Taipei City’s disaster prevention preparation and response actions and closely observe the disaster prevention information and communication equipment. When the Taipei City government demonstrated the 101 remote monitoring system and map display system, Director Oudkirk operated the systems in a hands-on manner and expressed her acclamation of the advanced equipment of Taipei Emergency Operations Center
Lastly, Mayor Ko stated that Taipei City continues to progress in many aspects in disaster prevention and rescue and information systems. Integration with districts and villages is enhanced to strengthen the effect of joint prevention of disasters. The Taipei City government not only works on integrating urban resources, but it also actively seeks to cooperate with partners worldwide to resolve problems related to climate changes. The purpose is to provide a safe and livable community environment for residents in Taipei City.