Frequency of citizen training as a preparedness measure
In addition to receiving information at least once per year, four out of five respondents would like to participate at least every one to two years in training activities, e.g. emergency drills or workshops, that would help improving their and their family’s and/or friends’ safety in case of a disaster. Again, this strong interest documented in the quantitative data coincides with the qualitative data: during the discussion groups, at least half of the participants expressed their willingness to participate in free emergency preparedness and response courses, most participants were very interested in disaster simulation exercises, and almost all were happy to test and use mobile phone apps specifically designed to provide information about disasters or threats in the area where they live. All of these activities were seen to promote social cohesion, strengthening solidarity between the participating citizens, and creating a sense of community before a disaster occurs. They were also perceived as an opportunity to learn about emotional responses, self-control, and the general processes in disaster management, aiming to understand in which situation a citizen’s active contribution is helpful, and when to better stand back and contribute in a more “passive” manner. As such, the participants in this Italian Citizen Summit show a pro-active aptitude towards empowerment.