Schools, businesses to simulate power, food disruptions for Total Defence exercise, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Schools, businesses to simulate power, food disruptions for Total Defence exercise

Schools across Singapore will simulate power, water or food supply disruptions on Feb 15 and 16, as part of this year’s Total Defence Day activities.

Among them, 40 secondary schools involving some 50,000 students and teachers will get a taste of what a food emergency is like, when canteen offerings are replaced with locally made ready-to-eat (RTE) meals.

Meanwhile, 21 markets and hawker centres will have their next quarterly market cleaning fixed on Feb 26 and 27, with the synchronised closures meant to simulate food supply disruptions.

Hitting Singaporeans in their stomachs is one aspect of the inaugural Exercise SG Ready from Feb 15 to 29, which will simulate a coordinated attack on Singapore using a variety of methods, ranging from cyber attacks to disinformation campaigns and drone attacks.

More than 500 organisations from the public and private sector will participate in the islandwide exercise, which aims to get individuals, communities and businesses to think about emergency preparedness and to put their own contingency plans in place in case of disruptions.

For instance, the RTE meals are meant to educate students on food security during emergencies. Co-developed by the Singapore Food Agency and food solutions provider Sats, the halal meals will use some locally grown bayam (spinach) and abalone mushrooms.

The three meal options – baked fish with chunky tomato, vegetable ragout, and makhani chicken with briyani rice – are all halal, with the latter two seeking to encourage flexibility in food choices by using plant-based seafood and frozen chicken.

The distribution of RTE meals to selected secondary schools is the second phase of a pilot programme, following an earlier phase in October 2023 that involved 2,800 students and teachers across 10 secondary schools.

Apart from schools, some businesses and organisations here will also be involved in the simulated civil emergency.

Among them is South Beach Consortium, which will switch off its water features and close off some toilets at South Beach Tower in Beach Rd. Power to air-conditioners and selected lifts and escalators will also be shut off to simulate power cuts.

Some of its tenants will also participate, with the JW Marriott Hotel to carry out limited disruptions to water supply and take part in a food distribution exercise. 

Two of its tenant businesses, consultancy Bain and Company and financial firm Intesa Sanpaolo, will be among 21 organisations conducting a simulated phishing exercise during the period to test cyber-security awareness and weak links in their security posture.

The organisations will use playbooks launched by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore, which have detailed instructions on how to simulate a phishing exercise on enterprise software, and teach their employees how to spot cyber threats.

Meanwhile, 20 buildings in the civic district will conduct a simulated blackout on Feb 15 by switching off their facade lighting.

The public can also experience how selected MRT stations can be turned into civil defence shelters during emergencies. The Singapore Civil Defence Force and Land Transport Authority will organise civil defence shelter open houses at Dakota, Potong Pasir and Tan Kah Kee MRT stations on Feb 23, between 10am and 4pm.

Individual members of the public can turn up to participate, but larger groups of 20 or more will have to make a reservation online.

SAFministry of defenceCivil defence