On average, 232 million people are affected by different types of disasters every year.
Emergency management is very important, in recent years disaster risks have been on the rise due to factors such as population growth, unplanned urbanization, environmental degradation, conflicts and competition for scarce resources, climate change, disease epidemics, poverty, and pressure from development within high-risk zones.
Hence, disaster risk reduction is the need of the hour.
Recognizing the importance of Disaster Risk Reduction in 2005, 168 governments and all leading development and humanitarian actors signed the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), committing themselves to a ten-year multi-stakeholder and multi-sector plan to invest in disaster risk reduction as a means to building disaster-resilient societies.
Public awareness campaigns can be started modestly and tailored to meet the needs of specific populations and target groups.
These approaches can be integrated into almost all existing initiatives, whenever and wherever they take place.
They can build on and support existing volunteer mobilization and peer-to-peer communications.
To support this, it requires strong and unified disaster reduction messages and clear and targeted information, education, and communication materials.
Emergency Management and Public awareness
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.
Formal school-based interventions:
The focus of formal school-based interventions covers 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.
School disaster management
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 a living document that expresses the awareness of the public for disaster risk reduction.
Every school has to set up 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.