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79% of Singaporeans are underprepared for a catastrophe

7 in 10 of those underprepared think there is nothing one can truly do to prepare for the worst


Singapore, 17th September 2012 Results from a new survey have been released by National Geographic Channel (NGC) Singapore and IdStats Research and Consultancy assessing Singaporeans’ levels of preparedness and their mindsets towards a potential “Doomsday” scenario.

According to the new survey, a startling 79% of respondents feel that Singaporeans are poorly prepared for a catastrophe of any sort. However, the survey results showed a significant gap between Singaporeans’ self-perception of their personal preparedness versus overall preparedness. 45% believe that they are personally about as prepared as others to handle a possible catastrophe. [Refer to Annex B for graphic illustrations of statistics]

This survey was commissioned by National Geographic Channel to promote the new television series Doomsday Preppers (premieres tonight, 17 September, at 9.00pm). Doomsday Preppers, one of the highest rated series ever to premiere on National Geographic Channel in USA, features how Americans prepare themselves for potential Doomsday scenarios such as hyper-inflation, power outages and natural disasters. Local viewers can expect to gain insights and informative prepping techniques to prepare for economic collapses, food and water shortages, as well as public transport failures.

The popularity of the Doomsday Preppers series in America led NGC Singapore to question how prepared are Singaporeans to face a potential catastrophe that could strike Singapore. With that in mind, the Channel commissioned this survey to find out Singaporeans’ preparedness and mindset towards a possible catastrophe.


Local vs, Global Perspectives

In the survey of 522 Singaporeans, both citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs) aged 18-64 years old, the question was asked, “Which of the following catastrophes, if any, do you think might happen in Singapore in the next 25 years?”  A financial meltdown (56%) and an epidemic (49%) are cited as key possibilities.

On a global scale, nearly two thirds of all Singaporeans believed that the world will experience a major catastrophe in less than 20 years, and majority (67%) believe that it will more likely to be a natural disaster.


Singaporeans are practical, pessimists or ignorant?

The results however, demonstrate that while Singaporeans anticipate a potential catastrophic situation, nearly 4 in 5 respondents acknowledged that Singaporeans would be underprepared in the event of a crisis.

If doomsday were to descend upon us, a majority of Singaporeans indicated they would be able to survive for approximately 22 days based on the supplies they currently had at home; although  35% of all respondents indicated 6 days or less.

67% of Singaporeans who thought they were not fully prepared currently to face a catastrophe cited " there is nothing anyone can do to be truly prepared for a catastrophe” while more than a third cited “I don’t know what I should be doing as the reason” for their less than optimal preparation.


Personal responsibility versus Government’s responsibility

Despite respondents endorsing that in the event of a crisis Singaporeans are more likely to be underprepared, almost half (45%) believe that they are personally as prepared as, or more prepared than everybody else in the face of a catastrophe.

While an overwhelming 80% of Singaporeans believe it should be the responsibility of every individual to prepare for a possible catastrophe; nearly 1 in 2 also believe this to be the responsibility of the Government.  More in the 18-34 years old age group believe it is the government’s responsibility to prepare for a catastrophic event, compared to 55-64 year olds.


Priorities and Key Concerns of Singaporeans

The rapidly rising cost of living has shifted priorities for most Singaporeans. More than half surveyed (57%) chose to save funds to lead a comfortable life versus preparing for a possible catastrophe, despite the 20-year time frame of such situations happening.

The survey also paints a softer side of Singaporeans – 76% of polled Singaporeans cited the wellbeing and safety of one’s family members as their primary concern in times of crisis. Concern for personal well-being emerged high in importance for 18-24 year olds.

Those polled have also indicated a preference for purchasing a home with a bomb shelter (68%) instead of a home equipped with high-end appliances. Among those who would choose a bomb shelter are mainly females.

In the event of an imminent catastrophe, most Singaporeans polled would also like to spend the day before the world ends saying goodbye to those near and dear (54%) and resolving feuds (36%). More interestingly, 18% of those polled have shared their frank preference to have sex the day before the world ends.


Exactly how prepared are Singaporeans?

While four in five Singaporeans believe it should be the responsibility of every individual to prepare for a possible catastrophe, one in four (24%) Singaporeans have done nothing to prepare; those who did, took very basic actions: such as equipping themselves with basic survival skills including how to start a fire or stitch a wound (33%), having an emergency bag with the most necessary supplies (32%), and collecting or storing canned or non-perishable food (30%).

Also observed is a significantly higher proportion of Singapore PRs looking beyond Singapore shores in their preparatory activities. 20% of these Permanent Residents surveyed have kept liquid funds overseas to help tide over a possible catastrophe, compared to 8% of Singapore Citizens.


The Doomsday Preppers Survey

More survey findings are available in the accompanying document, Final Report-Project Doomsday Preppers. For methodological notes, please refer to Annex A.

Each episode of the 12-part series Doomsday Preppers documents American Preppers as they go to great lengths to prepare for life’s uncertainties – from constructing a home out of shipping containers, stockpiling 680kg of food, to practicing evacuation drills. The series promises to provide viewers with informative and eye-opening insights on how they can prepare for a possible catastrophe no matter which part of the world they live in.


Premieres Mon, 17th September at 9 pm
National Geographic Channel


StarHub TV Channel 411/457 (HD)

SingTel Mio TV Channel 201/203 (HD) (w.e.f. 1st Oct 2012)


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