Educating children about disaster risks is another approach to reducing their vulnerability. It has increasingly become a central pillar of the DRR approach for many countries. Japan, in particular, places significant importance on building a culture of prevention in schools. The UK, however, has no formal flood education programmes in schools or the wider community in England and Wales, despite a high level of risk. The children in the study were also enthusiastic about this approach. They want to learn about flood warnings and risks and to make a “flood plan”, all of which can take place in schools and in the community. According to the research, schools can also communicate with flood-affected families, open IT suites after school and arrange for affected children to talk to each other; and the curriculum can include flood education and involve teachers and parents. Petal sums up some of the benefits of disaster prevention education as follows: Disaster prevention education is important at all ages, not just once during a child’s school career. This participation can provide lifelong benefits in terms of analytical thinking, problem-solving, empowerment and good citizenship. It can be the inoculation against death, injury, trauma, loss of home and livelihood, and cultural heritage.
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- Develop culturally aware disaster preparedness and response training
- Engage in activities and develop strategies aiming to improve trust between citizens and authorities
- Empower vulnerable groups (i.e. children, elderly, and people with disabilities) by including them in disaster management decision-making and actions