PREPARATION during times of disaster should be top priority but many times people fail to adhere to basic warnings and instructions.
This was the view of the president for the Lautoka branch of Fiji Red Cross Society, Faiaaz Ali.
He said because of ill preparation, many people tended to suffer during natural disasters.
"We have seen during the last floods and cyclone, people are not prepared," Mr Ali said.
"Thus, involving youth leaders and people from the Western Division and other various organisations such as the Western Disabled Peoples Association will ensure that these people will be our vocal point in the community.
"By training members of the community, they will know what people need in a particular area."
Speaking at a pre-cyclone disaster management briefing, Mr Ali said the Lautoka branch had 75 trained volunteers.
"We will be ready to deploy our trained volunteers in communities that require attention and help during times of natural disasters.
"This workshop is a very timely event as we are fast approaching the cyclone season, from November to April.
"We will also have training sessions with the volunteers to ensure that they are in top form and possess all the skills and knowledge when they go out into the field."
Meanwhile, Lomavata Youth Club member Ateca Delana attended the workshop and represented the 20 members of her Lovu, Lautoka-based group.
"I have learnt a lot from my time at the workshop and I will go back to my community and share with them the importance of preparing early and taking heed of extreme weather warnings," Ms Delana said.