January 06, 2014 00:00 By Asina Pornwasin The Nation
Many people feel the anti-government protesters' planned "Bangkok shutdown", scheduled for January 13, is the kind of disaster they have experienced before, especially the flooding in 2011.
As a result, many have plans for how to prepare and manage their daily lives in the event of a shutdown of Bangkok.
Bangkok residents have provided feedback, via Facebook and Twitter, on how they would prepare their lives for a political crisis in the capital.
Some are prepared to accept the time as “car-free days”. They will prepare themselves for walking, riding bicycles, taking public mass transit – especially, the BTS and MRT – and travelling by motorcycle taxis.
Asked what he could see as an opportunity in this situation, Rungroj Siripornmongkol said he considered a bicycling campaign. Ohm Udoncanich favoured car free days. Da Dee Da proposed a “Walking Street” festival to promote tourism. Rungnapa Sukhmol envisioned a new business built around food delivery, while Attapol Lertlumcoould saw a need for bicycle repair and accessories shops. Morrakot Kula and Tik Srisongkhroh will take the BTS and MRT to work, while Nook Kick will ride a bicycle.
Many people plan to work at home, including Chatpol Charimobhas, Pim Wisa, Nunchavit Chaiyapaksopon, Arthit Thurdsuwarn and Pockka Pock.
Putchong Uthayapos sees this situation as a chance to test many systems – including how Thailand can function if Bangkok is in a disaster situation. How ready are the Internet and telecommunications infrastructures to help users in a crisis? How would media efficiently report the news through social media? How does the work-at-home concept function? How would food delivery services operate in a crisis situation?
Wanida Wini said business managers need to have conti-nuity plans to operate and run their operations as usual during the Bangkok shutdown. Individuals, she said, should prepare to be active and energetic because they might need to walk a lot rather than drive the car or take a cab. And they needed to have comfortable shoes as well. Also, people should keep money in cash, stock some food and water, and importantly, they should keep a backup battery for their smartphones.
Mana Treelayapewat agrees, saying he plans to keep cash, and stock up on supplies and snacks for his children.
Morrakot Kula, as the executive of an Internet data-centre business, will monitor her sites during the Bangkok shutdown. Arthit Thurdsuwarn also set up business continuity plans in order to keep his offices running as usual during this situation. Jakrapong Kongmalai, as executive at Thai Samsung Electronics, said he would continue to hold a marketing event as planned.