DEFENSE/Military releases new civil defense handbook amid backlash
Taipei, June 13 (CNA) Taiwan's military on Tuesday released a revised version of its first civil defense handbook after the original version faced criticism for being out of touch with reality when it was published in April 2022.
Shen Wei-chih (沈威志), the head of the Ministry of National Defense's All-Out Defense Mobilization Agency, said at a press event that the updated version of the handbook has almost doubled its content and gone from 28 pages originally to 48 pages.
The new version consists of two main parts: "peacetime preparation" and "wartime responses."
It outlines safety measures for civilians during an air raid, major fire, building collapse, major power outage, water shortage, or shortage of essential goods, while explaining basic survival skills and offering emergency hotlines people can call.
Compared with the previous version, Shen said the updated version has far more descriptions of civil defense concepts and offers more detailed suggestions to civilians on how to respond to different types of emergencies to help them survive.
The pamphlet also lists nearby air raid shelters and hospitals and explains how to prepare an emergency kit should a war break out, he said.
The Chinese versions for the country as a whole and different regions are available to download at https://aodm.mnd.gov.tw/front/down.aspx?menu=069&mCate=069
No English version has been issued yet, but the ministry said it would publish one, without saying when.
The handbook was first issued amid concerns over China's intentions toward Taiwan and the possibility that it could launch a cross-strait conflict, but it was widely criticized for being impractical and divorced from reality.
The 28-page 6,000-word original version focused more on identifying which government agencies were responsible for doing what during wartime rather than telling people what to do.
One example was suggesting that people contact the authorities via phone or scan QR codes to access contingency information, despite the likelihood that telecommunications and internet services would be disrupted during a war.
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