PEOPLE in the Western Division were yesterday warned to prepare for the worst in 2013 following two floods and a category four tropical cyclone last year.
Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki made the comments while thanking the heads of government departments and various organisations in the west for their work during the natural disasters.
He said these individuals had worked tirelessly during the post floods and cyclone rehabilitation.
Cdr Cawaki told the HODs there was a need to build the resilience of people in the region in order to prepare them for future natural disasters.
"Our motto for 2013 is to prepare well," he said.
"There is a need to build the resilience of our people in the west to face natural disasters," he explained.
"We cannot run away from natural disasters and with climate change occurring now it is important that our people to prepare well to face natural disasters.
"Fiji is one of the countries sitting in the Pacific Rim of Fire and we are prone to natural disasters so we need to educate our people."
Cdr Cawaki said the floods and cyclone that hit the division last year should teach a lot of lessons to people in the west.
"It is important to build strong houses to withstand natural disasters such as cyclones," he said.
"Many homes were destroyed by the cyclone because they were not well built and this should serve as good lessons to those planning to build new houses."
"People should also make sure that their houses are insured to protect them from disasters," he added.
"We should accept the fact that we cannot run away from natural disasters but we need to be well prepared for the safety of our family members."
More than 6000 homes were damaged by TC Evan.