Public awareness for disaster risk reduction
There are four key approaches to public awareness for disaster risk reduction: Campaigns, participatory learning, informal education, and formal school-based interventions.
Let’s take formal school based interventions to learn in detail.
The focus of formal school-based interventions cover two areas: school disaster management and disaster risk reduction in school curricula. These are considered to be formal because accountability and responsibility for school safety and curricula belong exclusively to education authorities, so they require support for long-term planning and capacity building.
The primary goals of school disaster management are to ensure the safety of students and staff. Sustained school disaster management requires the familiar participatory and ongoing process of identification of hazards and risks, mitigation and reduction of risks, and developing response capacity.
A school disaster management plan, developed at the school level, should be the living document that expresses the awareness of public for disaster risk reduction. Every school has to setup the following school disaster committees:
• Coordination Committees
• Awareness generation Team
• Search Rescue and Evacuation Team
• Site safety Team
• First Aid Team
• Warning and Information Team
• Bus safety Team
• Water / Food Arrangement Team.
All the teams should participate in the mock drill.
Mock drills form a vital part of the school disaster management process, and provide an intensive learning experience. They should be followed by reflection and assessment by all members of the school community. Lessons learned are incorporated into the school disaster management plan, and goals set for improvement next time. Depending on hazards faced, there are several major types of drills that can be practiced: