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|Authors: ||Bernhardsdottir, A.E.*|
UPStrat-MAFA Outreach Working Group, *
|Title: ||Earthquake threat: How secure and prepared are children at school|
|Issue Date: ||Aug-2014|
|Keywords: ||Earthquake threat|
|Abstract: ||The result of preventive measures within school buildings not only lies in safer environment for
school children, but also raises awareness among them. One of the tasks of the UPStrat-MAFA members was to
evaluate the informal education by measuring the information on risk reduction (both preventive
measures and preparedness) provided by local responsible authorities, used and elaborated in
schools. A questionnaire was developed by task members and then tested in Hveragerdi, an Icelandic
town included in the UPStrat-MAFA study area. After finalizing the questions, the survey was run
online. School directors were contacted by email; they were asked to participate and to click a
link at the end of the message to open up the questionnaire. Each participant country ran the
survey in its native language. In total, the questions were ten, four of which were the so called
filter questions, i.e. dichotomous questions asked to determine if it is relevant for responders to
answer the subsequent question. The analysis of the survey data provides valuable information about the state of informal
education on risk reduction and awareness programs in schools and health institutions.In
particular, the paper illustrates the results collected in Iceland, Italy and Portugal and
discusses them taking into account some of the basic questions.
The survey covered both pre- and elementary school. The responders were e.g. asked whether: i)
local authorities had provided them information on seismic risk prevention and how such
information was processed; ii) loose objects were securely attached to walls in order to prevent
them from falling, giving insights into how risk averse the institutions are.
Results show that the local authorities in Iceland had disseminated information on preventive
measures to 43% of the institutions.The test survey in Hveragerdi displayed that it more often
depends on the institutions' management than the local authorities whether or not such
information is accessible within the institutions. Printed material is the most common source. 33%
of the institutions had received guidelines printed by the Icelandic Civil Defence Department that
display how to behave in case of earth.quakes. 200/o had accessed the information on the web. The
family emergency plan provided by the department and made accessible on the web could be made
better use of as an educational tool. 57% of the Icelandic institutions had made an effort to prevent objects to fall
within the buildings in case of earthquakes.
In Italy, local authorities on risk prevention had informed 37% of the institutions. Information is
disseminated through guidelines, lectures, CDs or training courses from National Civil Protection.
Moreover, the information given to schools mostly explains how to behave in case of an earthquake.
41% of the Italian institutions had made an effort to prevent objects to fall within the buildings
in case of earthquakes.
In Portugal, Lisbon municipality distributed to schools about 30% of information concerning seismic
risk prevention measures. This information was disseminated through guidelines, lectures,
CDs or training courses from National Civil Protection. 29% of the Portuguese institutions had
made efforts to prevent objects to fall within the buildings in case of earthquakes.
The comparison of the results obtained shows that the emphasis on having Emergency Plans to rely
on in case of disaster is almost equal within the three countries. In Italy 70% of schools have
emergency plans compared to 69% in Portugal and 68% in Iceland.
Differences between Icelandic and Italian schools become salient with regard to Earthquake
Drills offered and whether special actions were taken toward children education on the topic.
In Italy, 70% of school had offered drills compared to 24% in Iceland; in addition, 67%
of Italian schools had taken actions towards education on the topic compared to 23% in Iceland.
Portugal is closer to Italy with regard to drills offered in 66% of the schools, and 49% of them
had taken special action towards children education on the topic. It is important to emphasize
that in Portugal fire drills are much more common than earthquake drills, reflecting a "low
safety culture" due to insufficient level of awareness of seismic risk.
Iceland is slightly better prepared (than in previous mentioned measures) with regard to how
many schools had received "Information from Local Responsible Authorities" about preventive measure
related with seismic risk. 47% oflcelandic schools had received such information compared to 37%
in Italy and 31% in Portugal.
Schools' earthquake preparedness aiming at reducing ''Non-structural Hazard" differs between
the countries, especially between Iceland and Portugal. 57% of Icelandic schools had attached
loose objects to prevent them from falling in case of an earthquake, compared to 29% in
Portugal and 41% in Italy.
The greatest difference becomes salient in the answer to the question whether the schools had
"Available Equipment" to use in case of earthquakes. None of the Italian schools reported
available equipment; only 10% of the Icelandic schools got it, while 86% of Portuguese
schools had such equipment. The dominant type of available equipment reported on in Portugal was
frre extinguishers (answers "others"). Supposing that in the other two countries fire
extinguishers were not perceived as useful in case of earthquake, we might conclude that awareness
of the threat of fire is much stronger in Portugal than in Italy and Iceland.|
|Appears in Collections:||04.06.99. General or miscellaneous|
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