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    Why Children Should Be Trained In Disaster Preparedness

    By Aditi Narendra
    3 Dec'23  5 min read
    Why Children Should Be Trained In Disaster Preparedness
    Synopsis

    Disaster can leave a trauma for a lifetime. To control a disaster is not in our hands, but to be prepared for it is. Disaster preparedness is not a crucial step just for adults but for children as well. Read this article to know why children should be disaster-ready.

    Why Children Should Be Trained In Disaster Preparedness
    Synopsis

    Disaster can leave a trauma for a lifetime. To control a disaster is not in our hands, but to be prepared for it is. Disaster preparedness is not a crucial step just for adults but for children as well. Read this article to know why children should be disaster-ready.

    Disasters can knock on your door without warning. The aftermath of these disasters may be quite traumatic. To reduce the impact of this calamity it's important to be aware and ready for it. However, disaster preparedness is not limited to adults.

    Disasters can range from fire, earthquake, flood or any emergency that severely affects life and property. It must also include children as this prepares them for handling emergencies.

    Why Should Children Be Trained In Disaster Preparedness?

    Careers360 has listed the reasons why every child should be prepared to combat disaster.

    Prone To Vulnerability

    Children are among the most vulnerable groups during disasters due to their physical limitations. There are high chances for children to get trapped during natural disasters. They also might get injured, or separated from their parents. So it becomes necessary to teach them basic disaster mitigation skills. Children when exposed to disaster situations tend to get vulnerable. The fear, anxiety, and trauma associated with such events can have a lasting impact on their mental health. Proper disaster preparedness training can help children cope with these emotions, reducing the long-term psychological effects.

    Survival Skill

    Surviving in a disaster demands rapid thinking and action. Teaching children how to respond to situations has an opportunity to save lives. They can learn valuable skills like finding secure shelter, providing basic first aid, and identifying potential hazards. These abilities are invaluable, especially when the assistance of an adult is unavailable.

    When children are educated about the various types of disasters they are better prepared to face them with less anxiety. Awareness of survival skills can reduce the emotional toll of a disaster.

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    Self-Reliance

    The survival skills make the children confident and a little less dependent on adults. Self-reliant children can also help to evacuate safely and provide aid to those who require assistance.

    Creating Responsible Citizens

    Children are the future of a country. When the future of a nation is aware and prepared for disaster mitigation the community becomes more responsible. They learn that they have a role to play in keeping themselves and their community safe.

    What Should A Child Know About Disaster Preparedness?

    There are many aspects of disaster preparedness that children should be aware of. Depending on their age and cognitive development these elements may include:

    Basic Disaster Knowledge: Children should be aware of the different types of disasters that can occur in their region. They should be aware of the warning signs related to the origin of the disaster and the appropriate actions to take in each scenario.

    Evacuation Plans: Children need to know how to reach a safe area when facing disaster routes. They should be aware of the importance of following instructions from authorities and caregivers during evacuations.

    First Aid Skills: When children are aware of the basic first aid techniques they can be of help to others and can treat minor injuries.

    Fire Safety: Children should be aware of dealing with fire accidents, like how to avoid fire accidents, precautions, how to protect themselves in case of a fire accident and what remedy they can follow if they are hurt by fire. Basic knowledge like how to use fire extinguishers or escape before the fire spreads is crucial.

    Coping Strategies: To manage fear and anxiety, children should learn age-appropriate coping strategies such as deep breathing exercises and focusing on positive thoughts.

    Community Involvement: Students should actively participate in drills or volunteer activities related to disaster mitigation. This helps them understand their role in disaster response.

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    Preparedness At Home And At School

    Family Emergency Plans

    Creating and practising family emergency plans is a common part of disaster preparedness training. This ensures that children understand where to look for their parents or carers in an emergency, how to contact them, and where to seek safety. During a crisis, these plans can significantly increase the chances of family reunification.

    Leading by Example

    Observation is often the best way for children to learn. Children are more likely to adopt responsible behaviours when adults around them take disaster preparedness seriously and lead by example. This includes having emergency supplies on hand, being aware of evacuation routes, and taking part in community disaster preparedness activities.

    Introduce Disaster Preparedness In Schools

    Disaster preparedness should be integrated into the curriculum at schools, ensuring that students receive the necessary training and knowledge throughout their educational journey. Schools on their part should discuss evacuation plans and conduct drills. Age-appropriate planned drills should be conducted regularly at school to help students practise emergency response.

    Elementary school children can be taught about different disasters, evacuation processes and basic first aid. Role-playing and interactive activities can be effective teaching methods. Older children can also be part of community preparedness efforts in leadership roles.

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    Successful Models of Disaster Preparedness

    Japan is a hotspot for natural disasters. The School Health and Safety Act in Japan has integrated disaster education in schools. Each school adheres to a safety plan outlined by the Ministry of Education, which covers a variety of hazards. The national curriculum requires disaster readiness, which includes staff training, disaster science knowledge, and first aid skills. This ensures that students and educators are adequately prepared to deal with emergencies. This empowers children with not only the causes and consequences of disasters, but also how to prepare for and respond in face of emergencies.

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