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DISASTER   

Disaster is a sudden, calamitous event bringing great damage, loss, destruction and devastation to life and property. WHO defines Disaster as "any occurrence, that causes damage, ecological disruption, loss of human life, deterioration of health and health services, on a scale sufficient to warrant an extraordinary response from outside the affected community or area”

The damage caused by disasters is immeasurable and varies with the geographical location, climate and the type of the earth surface/degree of vulnerability. This influences the mental, socio-economic, political and cultural state of the affected area. Generally, disaster has the following effects in the concerned areas:

1. It completely disrupts the normal day to day life.

2. It negatively influences the emergency systems.

3. Normal needs and processes like flood, shelter, health, etc. are affected and deteriorate depending on the intensity and severity of the disaster.

 It may also be termed as “a serious disruption of the functioning of society, causing widespread human, material or environmental losses which exceed the ability of the affected society to cope using its own resources”  

Thus, a disaster may have the following main features:

Unpredictability

Unfamiliarity

Speed

Urgency

Uncertainty

Threat

COMPONENTS OF DISASTER

Risk is a measure of the expected losses due to a hazardous event of a particular magnitude occurring in a given area over a specific time period. Risk is a function of the probability of particular occurrences and the losses each would cause. The level of risk depends on:

Nature of the Hazard

Vulnerability of the elements which are affected

Economic value of those elements

 Vulnerability is defined as “the extent to which a community, structure, service, and/or geographic area is likely to be damaged or disrupted by the impact of particular hazard, on account of their nature, construction and proximity to hazardous terrain or a disaster prone area”

 Hazards are defined as “Phenomena that pose a threat to people, structures, or economic assets and which may cause a disaster. They could be either manmade or naturally occurring in our environment.”

The extent of damage in a disaster depends on:

1. The impact, intensity and characteristics of the phenomenon and

2. How people, environment and infrastructures are affected by that phenomenon

 

This relationship can be written as an equation:

 

 

DISASTER RISK = HAZARD + VULNERABILITY  

TYPES OF DISASTER

Generally, disasters are of two types – Natural and Manmade. Based on the devastation, these are further classified into major/minor natural disaster and major/minor manmade disasters. some of the disasters are listed below:

DISASTER MANAGEMENT AND MITIGATION STRATEGIES

Disaster Management is the discipline of dealing with and avoiding risks. It is a discipline that involves preparing for disaster before it occurs, disaster response  (e.g. emergency evacuation, quarantine, mass decontamination, etc.), as well as supporting, and rebuilding society after natural or human-made disasters have occurred. In general, any disaster management is the continuous process by which all individuals, groups, and communities manage hazards in an effort to avoid or ameliorate the impact of disasters resulting from the hazard.

Mitigation efforts attempt to prevent hazards from developing into disasters altogether, or to reduce the effects of disasters when they occur. The mitigation phase differs from the other phases because it focuses on long-term measures for reducing or eliminating risk. The implementation of mitigation strategies can be considered as part of the recovery process if applied after a disaster occurs.

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

Disasters happen anytime and anywhere. And when disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond. An earthquake, flood, tornado, winter storm, highway spill or hazardous material or any other disaster could cut water, electricity, and telephones-for days, require evacuation or confine your family at home for days.

After a disaster, local officials and relief workers will be on the scene, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it may take days. So we should be aware and prepared to cope with the emergency until help arrives.

 

EARTHQUAKES: SAFETY TIPS

Before the earthquake: It is important to formulate a safety plan.

Always keep the following in a designated place: bottled drinking water, non-perishable food (chura, gur, etc), first-aid kit, torchlight and battery-operated radio with extra batteries.

Teach family members how to turn off electricity, gas, etc.

Identify places in the house that can provide cover during an earthquake.

It may be easier to make long distance calls during an earthquake.  Identify an out-of-town relative or friend as your family’s emergency contact.  If the family members get separated after the earthquake and are not able to contact each other, they should contact the designated relative/friend.  The address and phone number of the contact person/relative should be with all the family members.

Consider retrofitting your house with earthquake-safety measures to safeguard your house. Reinforcing the foundation and frame could   make your house quake resistant.  You may consult a reputable contractor and follow building codes.

Kutchha building can also be retrofitted and strengthened.  

During the earthquake: Earthquakes give no warning at all. Sometimes, a loud rumbling sound might signal its arrival a few seconds ahead of time. Those few seconds could give you a chance to move to a safer location. Here are some tips for keeping safe during a quake.

Take cover. Go under a table or other sturdy furniture; kneel, sit, or stay close to the floor. Hold on to furniture legs for balance. Be prepared to move if your cover moves.

If no sturdy cover is nearby, kneel or sit close to the floor next to a structurally sound interior wall. Place your hands on the floor for balance.

Do not stand in doorways. Violent motion could cause doors to slam and cause serious injuries. You may also be hit by flying objects.

Move away from windows, mirrors, bookcases and other unsecured heavy objects.

If you are in bed, stay there and cover yourself with pillows and blankets.

Do not run outside if you are inside. Never use the lift.

If you are living in a kutcha house, the best thing to do is to move to an open area where there are no trees, electric or telephone wires.  

Move into the open, away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires. Once in the open stay there until the shaking stops.

If your home is badly damaged, you will have to leave. Collect water, food, medicine, other essential items and important documents before leaving.

Avoid places where there are loose electrical wires and do not touch metal objects that are in touch with the loose wires.

Do not re-enter damaged buildings and stay away from badly damaged structures.  

If in moving vehicles: Move to a clear area away from buildings, trees, overpasses, or utility wires, stop, and stay in the vehicle. Once the shaking has stopped, proceed with caution. Avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged by the quake.

After the quake: Here are a few things to keep in mind after an earthquake. The caution you display in the aftermath can be essential for your personal safety:

Wear shoes/chappals to protect your feet from debris.

After the first tremor, be prepared for aftershocks.  Though less intense, aftershocks cause additional damages and may bring down weakened structures. Aftershocks can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake.

Check for fire hazards and use torchlights instead of candles or lanterns.

If the building you live in is in a good shape after the earthquake, stay inside and listen for radio advises. If you are not certain about the damage to your building, evacuate carefully. Do not touch downed power line.

Help injured or trapped persons. Give first aid where appropriate. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. In such cases, call for help.

Remember to help your neighbours who may require special assistance-infants, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

Listen to a battery-operated radio for the latest emergency information.

Stay out of damaged buildings.

Return home only when authorities say it is safe. Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches or gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately. Leave the area if you smell gas or fumes from other chemicals. Open closet and cupboard doors cautiously.

If you smell gas or hear hissing noise, open windows and quickly leave the building. Turn off the switch on the top of the gas cylinder.

Look for electrical system damages - if you see sparks, broken wires, or if you smell burning of amber, turn off electricity at the main fuse box.  If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box, call an electrician first for advice.

Check for sewage and water lines damage. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets. If water pipes are damaged, avoid using water from the tap.

Use the telephone only for emergency calls.

In case family members are separated from one another during an earthquake (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), develop a plan for reuniting after the disaster.  Ask an out of state / district relative or friend to serve as the “family contact”.  Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address, and phone number(s) of the contact person (s).

 

CYCLONE : SAFETY TIPS

Before the cyclone:

Keep watch on weather and listen to radio or TV. Keep alert about the community warning systems – loudspeakers, bells, conches, drums or any traditional warning system.

Get to know the nearest cyclone shelter / safe houses and the safest route to reach these shelters.

Do not listen to rumours.

Prepare an emergency kit containing:A portable radio, torch and spare batteries,stocks of dry food – eg. Chura, gur, etc,matches, fuel lamp, portable stove, cooking utensils, waterproof bag and a  first aid kit, manual, etc., katuri, pliers, small saw, axe and plastic rope

Check the roof and cover it with net or bamboo. Check the walls, pillars, doors and windows to see if they are secure. If not, repair those at the earliest. In case of tin roofs, check the condition of the tin and repair the loose points. Cover the mud walls with polythene or coconut leaves mats or straw mats on a bamboo frame. Bind each corner of the roof with a plastic rope in case of thatched roof.

Trim dry tree branches, cut off the dead trees and clear the place/courtyard of all debris, including coconuts and tree branches.

Clear your property of loose materials that could blow about and cause injury or damage during extreme winds.

If your area is prone to storm surge, locate safe high ground or shelter.

Keep important documents, passbook, etc. in a tight plastic bag and take it along with your emergency kits if you are evacuating.

Identify the spot where you can dig holes to store food grains, seeds, etc. in polythene bags.

Keep a list of emergency addresses and phone numbers on display. Know the contact telephone number of the government offices /agencies, which are responsible for search, rescue and relief operations in your area.

 

Upon a cyclone warning:

Store loose items inside. Put extra agricultural products/ stock like paddy in plastic bags and store it by digging up a hole in the ground, preferably at a higher elevation and then cover it properly. Fill bins and plastic jars with drinking water.

Prepare a list of assets and belongings of your house and give information to volunteers and other authorities about your near and dear ones.

Fill fuel in your car/motorcycle and park it under a solid cover. Tie bullock carts, boats securely to strong posts in an area, which has a strong cover and away from trees. Fallen trees can smash boats and other assets.

Close shutters or nail all windows. Secure doors. Stay indoors, with pets.

Pack warm clothing, essential medications, valuables, papers, water, dry food and other valuables in waterproof bags, to be taken along with your emergency kit.

Listen to your local radio / TV, local community warning system for further information.

In case of warning of serious storm, move with your family to a strong pucca building. In case of warning of cyclones of severe intensity, evacuate the area with your family, precious items and documents and emergency kit. Take special care for children, elders, sick, pregnant women and lactating mothers in your family. Do not forget your emergency food stock, water and other emergency items. GO TO THE NEAREST CYCLONE SHELTER.

Do not venture into the sea for fishing 

On warning of local evacuation:

Based on predicted wind speeds and storm surge heights, evacuation may be necessary. Official advice may be given on local radio / TV or other means of communication regarding safe routes and when to move. 

Wear strong shoes or chappals and clothing for protection.

Lock your home, switch off power, gas, water, and take your emergency kit.

If evacuating to a distant place take valuable belonging, domestic animals, and leave early to avoid heavy traffic, flooding and wind hazards.

If evacuating to a local shelter or higher grounds carry the emergency kit and minimum essential materials.

 

When the cyclone strikes:

Disconnect all electrical appliances and turn off gas.

If the building starts crumbling, protect yourself with mattresses, rugs or blankets under a strong table or bench or hold on to a solid fixture (e.g. a water pipe)

Listen to your transistor radio for updates and advice.

Beware of the calm `eye’. If the wind suddenly drops, don’t assume the cyclone is over; violent winds will soon resume from the opposite direction. Wait for the official “all clear”.

If driving, stop – but well away from the sea and clear of trees, power lines and watercourses. Stay in the vehicle.

After the cyclone:

Do not go outside until officially advised it is safe.

Check for gas leaks. Do not use electric appliances, if wet.

Listen to local radio for official warnings and advice.

If you have to evacuate, or did so earlier, do not return until advised. Use a recommended route for returning and do not rush.

Be careful of snake bites and carry a stick or bamboo

Beware of fallen power lines, damaged bridges

Heed all warnings and do not got sightseeing.

   

FLOODS : SAFETY TIPS  

This guide lists simple things you and your family can do to stay safe and protect your property from floods.    

Before flooding occurs:

All your family members should know the safe route to nearest shelter/ raised pucca house.

If your area is flood-prone, consider alternative building materials. Mud walls are more likely to be damaged during floods. You may consider making houses where the walls are made of local bricks up to the highest known flood level with cement pointing.

Have an emergency kit on hand which includes a portable radio, torch and spare batterie,stocks of fresh water, dry food (chura, gur, biscuits), kerosene, candle and matchboxes,waterproof or polythene bags for clothing and valuables, an umbrella and bamboo stick (to protect from snake), salt and sugar,a first aid kit, manual and strong ropes for tying thing.

When you hear a flood warning or if flooding appears likely:

Tune to your local radio/TV for warnings and advice.

Keep vigil on flood warning given by local authorities

Don’t give any importance to rumours and don’t panic

Keep dry food, drinking water and clothes ready

Prepare to take bullock carts, other agricultural equipments, and domestic animals to safer places or to higher locations.

Plan which indoor items you will raise or empty if water threatens to enter your house

Check your emergency kit

 

During floods:

Drink boiled water.

Keep your food covered, don’t take heavy meals.

Use raw tea, rice-water, tender coconut-water, etc. during diarrhoea.

Do not let children remain on empty stomach.

Use bleaching powder and lime to disinfect the surrounding.

Help the officials/volunteers distributing relief materials.

If you need to evacuate:

Firstly pack warm clothing, essential medication, valuables, personal papers, etc. in waterproof bags, to be taken with your emergency kit.

Take the emergency kit.

Inform the local volunteers (if available), the address of the place you are evacuating to.

Turn off power.

Raise furniture, clothing and valuables onto beds, tables and to the top of the roof (electrical items highest).

Whether you leave or stay, put sandbags in the toilet bowl and over all laundry / bathroom drain-holes to prevent sewage back-flow.

Lock your home and take recommended/known evacuation routes for your area.

Do not get into water of unknown depth and current.

 

If you stay or on your return:

Stay tuned to local radio for updated advice.

Do not allow children to play in, or near, flood waters.

Avoid entering floodwaters. If you must, wear proper protection for your feet and check depth and current with a stick. Stay away from drains, culverts and water over knee-deep.

Do not use electrical appliances, which have been in floodwater until checked for safety.

Do not eat food, which has been in floodwaters.

Boil tap water (in cities) until supplies have been declared safe. In case of rural areas, store tube well water in plastic jars or use halogen tablets before drinking.

Be careful of snakes, snakebites are common during floods. 

 

 

FIRE ACCIDENTS : SAFETY TIPS ON FIRE ACCIDENTS  

High-Rise Fires:

Calmly leave the apartment, closing the door behind you. Remember the keys!

Pull the fire alarm near the closest exit, if available, or raise an alarm by warning others.

Leave the building by the stairs.

Never take the elevator during fire!  

If the exit is blocked by smoke or fire:

Leave the door closed but do not lock it.

To keep the smoke out, put a wet towel in the space at the bottom of the door.

Call the emergency fire service number and tell them your apartment number and let them know you are trapped by smoke and fire. It is important that you listen and do what they tell you.

Stay calm and wait for someone to rescue you.

 

If there is a fire alarm in your building which goes off:

Before you open the door, feel the door by using the back of our hand. If the door is hot or warm, do not open the door.

If the door is cool, open it just a little to check the hallway. If you see smoke in the hallway, do not leave.

If there is no smoke in the hallway, leave and close the door. Go directly to the stairs to leave. Never use the elevator.

 

 If smoke is in your apartment:

Stay low to the floor under the smoke.

Call the Fire Emergency Number which should be pasted near your telephone along with police and other emergency services and let them know that you are trapped by smoke.

If you have a balcony and there is no fire below it, go out.

If there is fire below, go out to the window. DO NOT OPEN THE WINDOW but stay near the window.

If there is no fire below, go to the window and open it. Stay near the open window.

Hang a bed sheet, towel or blanket out of the window to let people know that you are there and need help.

Be calm and wait for someone to rescue you.

Kitchen Fires: It is important to know what kind of stove or cooking oven you have in your home – gas, electric, kerosene or where firewood is used. The stove is the No. 1 cause of fire hazards in your kitchen and can cause fires, which may destroy the entire house, especially in rural areas where there are thatched roof or other inflammable materials like straw kept near the kitchen. For electric and gas stoves ensure that the switch or the gas valve is switched off/turned off immediately after the cooking is over. An electric burner remains hot and until it cools off, it can be very dangerous. The oven using wood can be dangerous because burning embers remain. When lighting the fire on a wooden fuel oven, keep a cover on the top while lighting the oven so that sparks do not fly to the thatched roof. After the cooking is over, ensure that the remaining fire is extinguished off by sprinkling water if no adult remains in the kitchen after the cooking. Do not keep any inflammable article like kerosene near the kitchen fire.

 Important Do’s in the Kitchen:

Do have an adult always present when cooking is going on the kitchen. Children should not be allowed alone.

Do keep hair tied back and do not wear synthetic clothes when you are cooking.

Do make sure that the curtains on the window near the stove are tied back and will not blow on to the flame or burner.

Do check to make sure that the gas burner is turned off immediately if the fire is not ignited and also switched off immediately after cooking.

Do turn panhandles to the centre of the stove and put them out of touch of the children in the house.

Do ensure that the floor is always dry so that you do not slip and fall on the fire.

Do keep matches out of the reach of children.

 Important Don’ts in the Kitchen:

Don’t put towels, or dishrags near a stove burner.

Don’t wear loose fitting clothes when you cook, and don’t reach across the top of the stove when you are cooking.

Don’t put things in the cabinets or shelves above the stove. Young children may try to reach them and accidentally start the burners, start a fire, catch on fire.

Don’t store spray cans or cans carrying inflammable items near the stove.

Don’t let small children near an open oven door. They can be burnt by the heat or by falling onto the door or into the oven.

Don’t lean against the stove to keep warm.

Don’t use towels as potholders. They may catch on fire.

Don’t overload an electrical outlet with several appliances or extension cords. The cords or plugs may overheat and cause a fire.

Don’t use water to put out a grease fire. ONLY use baking soda, salt, or a tight lid. Always keep a box of baking soda near the stove.

Don’t use radios or other small appliances (mixers, blenders) near the sink.

 COMMON TIPS:

Do keep the phone number of the Fire Service near the telephone and ensure that everyone in the family knows the number.

Do keep matches and lighters away from children.

Do sleep with your bedroom closed to prevent the spread of fire.

Do you know that you should never run if your clothes are on fire and that you should  - “STOP – DROP-ROLL.”

 

LANDSLIDE: SAFETY TIPS

During a Landslide:

Stay alert and awake. Many debris-flow fatalities occur when people are sleeping. Listen to a Weather Radio or portable, battery-powered radio or television for warnings of intense rainfall. Be aware that intense, short bursts of rain may be particularly dangerous, especially after longer periods of heavy rainfall and damp weather.  

If you are in areas susceptible to landslides and debris flows, consider leaving if it is safe to do so. Remember that driving during an intense storm can be hazardous. If you remain at home, move to a second story if possible. Staying out of the path of a landslide or debris flow saves lives.

Listen for any unusual sounds that might indicate moving debris, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together. A trickle of flowing or falling mud or debris may precede larger landslides. Moving debris can flow quickly and sometimes without warning.

If you are near a stream or channel, be alert for any sudden increase or decrease in water flow and for a change from clear to muddy water. Such changes may indicate landslide activity upstream, so be prepared to move quickly. Don't delay! Save yourself, not your belongings

Be especially alert when driving. Embankments along roadsides are particularly susceptible to landslides. Watch the road for collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks, and other indications of possible debris flows.

 

What to Do if You Suspect Imminent Landslide Danger:

Contact your local fire, police, or public works department. Local officials are the best persons able to assess potential danger.

Inform affected neighbors. Your neighbors may not be aware of potential hazards. Advising them of a potential threat may help save lives. Help neighbors who may need assistance to evacuate.

Evacuate. Getting out of the path of a landslide or debris flow is your best protection.

Media and Community Education Ideas:

In an area prone to landslides, publish a special newspaper section with emergency information on landslides and debris flows. Localize the information by including the phone numbers of local emergency services offices, the Red Cross, and hospitals.

Report on what city/town/villages and governments are doing to reduce the possibility of landslides. Interview local officials about local land- use zoning regulations.

Interview local officials and major insurers. Find out if debris flow is covered by flood insurance policies and contact your local emergency management office to learn more about the program. 

Work with local emergency services to prepare special reports for people with mobility impairments on what to do if evacuation is ordered.

Support your local government in efforts to develop and enforce land-use and building ordinances that regulate construction in areas susceptible to landslides and debris flows. Buildings should be located away from steep slopes, streams and rivers, intermittent-stream channels, and the mouths of mountain channels.

 

After the Landslide:

Stay away from the slide area. There may be danger of additional slides.

Check for injured and trapped persons near the slide, without entering the direct slide area. Direct rescuers to their locations.

Help a neighbor who may require special assistance - infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities. Elderly people and people with disabilities may require additional assistance. People who care for them or who have large families may need additional assistance in emergency situations.

Listen to local radio or television stations for the latest emergency information.

Watch for flooding, which may occur after a landslide or debris flow. Floods sometimes follow landslides and debris flows because they may both be started by the same event.

Look for and report broken utility lines to appropriate authorities. Reporting potential hazards will get the utilities turned off as quickly as possible, preventing further hazard and injury.  

Check the building foundation, chimney, and surrounding land for damage. Damage to foundations, chimneys, or surrounding land may help you assess the safety of the area.

Replant damaged ground as soon as possible since erosion caused by loss of ground cover can lead to flash flooding.

Seek the advice of a geotechnical expert for evaluating landslide hazards or designing corrective techniques to reduce landslide risk. A professional will be able to advise you of the best ways to prevent or reduce landslide risk, without creating further hazard.

Media and Community Education Ideas:

In an area prone to landslides, publish a special newspaper section with emergency information on landslides and debris flows. Localize the information by including the phone numbers of local emergency services offices, the Red Cross and hospitals.

Report on what city and county governments are doing to reduce the possibility of landslides. Interview local officials about local land- use zoning regulations.

Interview local officials and major insurers regarding the National Flood Insurance Program. Find out if debris flow is covered by flood insurance policies from the National Flood Insurance Program and contact your local emergency management office to learn more about the program.  

Work with local emergency to prepare special reports for people with mobility impairments on what to do if evacuation is ordered.

Support your local government in efforts to develop and enforce land-use and building ordinances that regulate construction in areas susceptible to landslides and debris flows. Buildings should be located away from steep slopes, streams and rivers, intermittent-stream channels, and the mouths of mountain channels.

 

Before a Landslide: How to Plan:

Learn about landslide risk in your area. Contact local officials, state geological surveys or departments of natural resources, and university departments of geology. Landslides occur where they have before, and in identifiable hazard locations. Ask for information on landslides in your area, specific information on areas vulnerable to landslides, and request a professional referral for a very detailed site analysis of your property, and corrective measures you can take, if necessary.

 

If you are at risk from landslides:

Talk to your insurance agent. 

Develop an evacuation plan.  

Discuss landslides and debris flow with your family. Everyone should know what to do in case all family members are not together. Discussing disaster ahead of time helps reduce fear and lets everyone know how to respond during a landslide or debris flow.

   

GENERAL AWARENESS IN SCHOOL

Generate awareness among the children on different types of hazard like flood, cyclone, earthquake, fire, drought, their causes and how to protect themselves during the disaster.

Prepare a contingency plan for the school in case of a fire, cyclone earthquakes and floods.

The student should understand the primary escape route in the school.

Train the children on First Aid and Rescue operations.

Carry out mock drill in the school at least twice a year.

Initiate the process of plantation in the school and giving then some knowledge on the type of trees to be grown.

Generate awareness on water and sanitation among the children.

The student should be able to demonstrate the actions to take when trapped in a fire.

  Creating the Disaster Prevention and Response Plan

A sound disaster prevention and response plan reflects the common and the unique needs of educators, students, families, and the greater community. The plan outlines how all individuals in the school community-administrators, teachers, parents, students, and support staff-will be prepared to spot the behavioral and emotional sighs that indicate a child is troubled, and what they will need to do. The plan also details how school and community resources can be used to create safe environments and to manage responses to acute threats and incidents of violence.

  Forming the Prevention and Resource Team

It can be helpful to establish a school-based team to oversee the preparation and implementation of the prevention and response plan. This does not need to be a new team; however, a designated core group should be entrusted with this important responsibility.

The core team should ensure that every member of the High school community accepts and adopts the disaster prevention and response plan. This buy-in is essential if all members of the school community are expected to feel comfortable sharing concerns about children who appear troubled. Too often, caring individuals remain silent because they have no way to express their concerns.

Typically, the core team includes the building administrator, general and special education teachers, parent(s), and a pupil support services representative (a school psychologist, social worker, or counselor), and a doctor. It is the role of a teacher to contact these persons and make a part of the team. The teachers should encourage having health camps in the school every six months. The core team could also have a member from the local police station for its smooth functioning.

The core team also should coordinate with any school advisory boards already in place. For Example, most effective schools have developed an advisory board of parents and community leaders that meets regularly with school administrators. While these advisory groups generally offer advice support, that role can be expanded to bringing resources related to disaster prevention and intervention into the school.

While we cannot prevent disasters from occurring, we can do much to reduce the likelihood of its occurrence. Through thoughtful planning and the establishment of a school disaster prevention and response team, we can avert many crises and be prepared when they do happen.

Action Planning Checklist

Ask the following questions:

Does my school have a core team with administrators, 2-3 senior school teachers, doctors, representative from the community leaders, senior learned citizens, parents and student representatives?

Does my school have a disaster preparedness and response plan?

Are students of my school trained on First Aid and Rescue and Evacuation?

Mock drill to be carried out by the students and teachers every six months.

Is the fire extinguisher in a working condition?

Is the first aid kit ready? Check that the medicines have not crossed the expiry date.

Check whether the toilets and the drinking water taps/tube wells are in a working condition.

Awareness should be generated on different types of hazard like flood, cyclone, earthquake, drought and the preparedness measures to be taken to combat these disasters.

Initiate the process of plantation in the school and giving the children some knowledge on the type of trees to be grown.

The teachers can play a major role in preparation of the Village disaster preparedness and response plan in their locality.

Apart from being a part of the disaster response team in the school the teachers can play an important role in the preparation of the Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan in their locality.

ROLE OF STUDENT IN DISASTER MANAGEMENT

Knowledge  on first aid, rescue and evacuation.

Help in the preparation of the school disaster contingency plan.

Aware the parents and community on various types of hazards and what are the preparedness measures to be taken.

Plantation in the school premises.

Boosting the morale of the community after the disaster.

Senior students can help villagers in preparing the Village Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan.

The students can be volunteers in the first-aid team, Rescue and Evacuation team, early warning team in their village.

ROLE OF EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION IN DISASTER MANAGEMENT

The educational Institution can act as follows:

Act as a safe shelter.

Health center for the locality.

Disaster management Information center where data base could be maintained on population, health, institutions etc.

A center for learning  and counseling.

The school can be feeding center.

Training for DRM volunteers, Village Council members, Teachers, Government officials at the Sub-Division level.

 

   School Fire Drills                                                                                Fire Protection Bureau

A step-by-step guide for teachers

  School fire drills are held in order to provide for the day and well being of students and staff. Fine codes address many aspects of life safety, including school fire drills at least once each month during school session. Let’s continue to provide a fire safe environment for our children by activity participating in monthly school fire drills.

 

1.     PLAN AHEAD

       Know your school district’s policy:Most school district include the following: an assigned meeting place for students: individual class rosters so that students can be accounted for; that windows and doors be closed to prevent the spread of fire; and provisions for assigning an adult assistant or a students buddy to assist classmates with special needs.

·        Know your school’s fire protection system:Be familiar with the type of fire protection system at your school. Know the location of pull stations and whether your school is protected by fire sprinklers.

·        Know the alarm sound:Learn your school fire alarm’s sound so you can respond quickly.

·        Know the school floor plan:Every room in your school should have a map posted showing at least two ways out so you can escape, even if one exit is blocked. Know alternate routes of escape.

·        Know the escape plan: Time is a critical factor in a fire emergency. Learn which exit to use. It’s important to know exactly what to do when the fire alarm sounds. Elevators should never be used during a fire.

  2.     Discuss Procedures with students.

·        Be orderly: Students should how to quietly line up and leave the room when the alarm sounds.

·        Test doors before opening: Kneel or crouch and feel the door. If the door is warm, use another escape route. If it is cool, open it slowly. Be prepared to close the door if there is smoke or flame on the other side.

·        Crawl low under smoke: Since heat rises and carries toxic smoke with it, the air will be cooler and cleaner near the floor during a fire. If you find smoke, try another escape route. If you must exit through smoke, crawl on your hands and knees and keep your head 12 to 24 inches above the floor.

·        Know where you’re going:Know which exit to use and go to the assigned meeting place outside the building.

·        Helping others:Plan for students who need special help leaving the building. Discuss these procedures with the class

3.     PRACTICE

·       Monthly School Fire Drills:Fire drills are required at least once each month during the school year. Fire drills include the complete evacuation of all persons from the building. No one should re-enter the building until directed a designed person.

·        Home Fire Drills:School fire drills are a model for children too use their own homes. Home fire escape plans are important and should be practiced twice a year. Practice is essential.

CONCLUSION:  The Government of India over the years formulated strategies to cope with, prevent and mitigate disasters because of the frequency of disasters affecting the country . These policies consist of long and short term prevention and preparedness measures and immediate response mechanisms. They also include appropriate administrative structures to manage disaster response, financial systems to fund and facilitate them, the mechanisms to ensure that policies and strategies are continuously reviewed and revised in the light of experiences within the country and in other parts of the world. We, as teachers as responsible citizens of our country should be a part and parcel of the disaster preparedness drive taken up in the country.

 

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