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Tsunami Smart Schools

Schools that Protect

Schools are not just about learning – they are also environments that protect children in times of disaster.
  
With the help of experts such as oceanographers, geologists or engineers, schools in low lying coastal areas in the Caribbean can:
  • Identify nearby hills or buildings where students and teachers could seek refuge from a tsunami, and
  • Go about planning safe routes to get there.
 
Vulnerable schools can add tsunami preparedness to emergency strategies and drills that they might already have in place. Around the world, some schools have already begun this process. For example, at one newly built, reinforced concrete school in Thailand, an emergency tsunami evacuation plan was developed by principals and teachers. The plan was explained to the school children, and then a drill was conducted to practice the plan. The drill taught children how to evacuate vertically (to upper floors of the building) since the school is located along a flat coastal area surrounded by dense jungle, with no nearby high ground.
 
An example of such an activity was executed at St. Alban’s Primary School in Barbados on March 11, 2010 during the Public Awareness and Education Campaign as part of the Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Project. A simulation exercise was executed at this low-lying coastal school. Some 366 students and 30 staff evacuated the compound and ran to higher ground, based on a tsunami warning alert received by telephone.
 
In some communities, schools are also a focal point of community life. In this role, schools can:
  • Help build awareness of the tsunami hazard among local people,
  • Assist in drafting community preparedness plans, and
  • Develop the means to act as communication, shelter and relief effort centres in a disaster’s aftermath.
For more information:

Read the story stimulation exercise http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/newsitem.asp?more=local&NewsID=9410

 

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