Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Preparedness Related Abstracts

7 Preparedness is Overrated: Community Responses to Floods in a Context of (Perceived) Low Probability

Authors: Kim Anema, Matthias Max, Chris Zevenbergen

Abstract:

For any flood risk manager the 'safety paradox' has to be a familiar concept: low probability leads to a sense of safety, which leads to more investments in the area, which leads to higher potential consequences: keeping the aggregated risk (probability*consequences) at the same level. Therefore, it is important to mitigate potential consequences apart from probability. However, when the (perceived) probability is so low that there is no recognizable trend for society to adapt to, addressing the potential consequences will always be the lagging point on the agenda. Preparedness programs fail because of lack of interest and urgency, policy makers are distracted by their day to day business and there's always a more urgent issue to spend the taxpayer's money on. The leading question in this study was how to address the social consequences of flooding in a context of (perceived) low probability. Disruptions of everyday urban life, large or small, can be caused by a variety of (un)expected things - of which flooding is only one possibility. Variability like this is typically addressed with resilience - and we used the concept of Community Resilience as the framework for this study. Drawing on face to face interviews, an extensive questionnaire and publicly available statistical data we explored the 'whole society response' to two recent urban flood events; the Brisbane Floods (AUS) in 2011 and the Dresden Floods (GE) in 2013. In Brisbane, we studied how the societal impacts of the floods were counteracted by both authorities and the public, and in Dresden we were able to validate our findings. A large part of the reactions, both public as institutional, to these two urban flood events were not fuelled by preparedness or proper planning. Instead, more important success factors in counteracting social impacts like demographic changes in neighborhoods and (non-)economic losses were dynamics like community action, flexibility and creativity from authorities, leadership, informal connections and a shared narrative. These proved to be the determining factors for the quality and speed of recovery in both cities. The resilience of the community in Brisbane was good, due to (i) the approachability of (local) authorities, (ii) a big group of ‘secondary victims’ and (iii) clear leadership. All three of these elements were amplified by the use of social media and/ or web 2.0 by both the communities and the authorities involved. The numerous contacts and social connections made through the web were fast, need driven and, in their own way, orderly. Similarly in Dresden large groups of 'unprepared', ad hoc organized citizens managed to work together with authorities in a way that was effective and speeded up recovery. The concept of community resilience is better fitted than 'social adaptation' to deal with the potential consequences of an (im)probable flood. Community resilience is built on capacities and dynamics that are part of everyday life and which can be invested in pre-event to minimize the social impact of urban flooding. Investing in these might even have beneficial trade-offs in other policy fields.

Keywords: Preparedness, Disaster Response, Community Resilience, social consequences

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6 Development of Quality Assessment Tool to Gauge Fire Response Activities of Emergency Personnel in Denmark

Authors: Jennifer E. Lynette

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to develop a nation-wide assessment tool to gauge the quality and efficiency of response activities by emergency personnel to fires in Denmark. Current fire incident reports lack detailed information that can lead to breakthroughs in research and improve emergency response efforts. Information generated from the report database is analyzed and assessed for efficiency and quality. By utilizing information collection gaps in the incident reports, an improved, indepth, and streamlined quality gauging system is developed for use by fire brigades. This study pinpoints previously unrecorded factors involved in the response phases of a fire. Variables are recorded and ranked based on their influence to event outcome. By assessing and measuring these data points, quality standards are developed. These quality standards include details of the response phase previously overlooked which individually and cumulatively impact the overall success of a fire response effort. Through the application of this tool and implementation of associated quality standards at Denmark’s fire brigades, there is potential to increase efficiency and quality in the preparedness and response phases, thereby saving additional lives, property, and resources.

Keywords: Preparedness, Emergency Management, response, Quality Standards, Fire

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5 Volunteers’ Preparedness for Natural Disasters and EVANDE Project

Authors: A. Kourou, A. Ioakeimidou, E. Bafa, C. Fassoulas, M. Panoutsopoulou

Abstract:

The role of volunteers in disaster management is of decisive importance and the need of their involvement is well recognized, both for prevention measures and for disaster management. During major catastrophes, whereas professional personnel are outsourced, the role of volunteers is crucial. In Greece experience has shown that various groups operating in the civil protection mechanism like local administration staff or volunteers, in many cases do not have the necessary knowledge and information on best practices to act against natural disasters. One of the major problems is the lack of volunteers’ education and training. In the above given framework, this paper presents the results of a survey aimed to identify the level of education and preparedness of civil protection volunteers in Greece. Furthermore, the implementation of earthquake protection measures at individual, family and working level, are explored. More specifically, the survey questionnaire investigates issues regarding pre-earthquake protection actions, appropriate attitudes and behaviors during an earthquake and existence of contingency plans in the workplace. The questionnaires were administered to citizens from different regions of the country and who attend the civil protection training program: “Protect Myself and Others”. A closed-form questionnaire was developed for the survey, which contained questions regarding the following: a) knowledge of self-protective actions; b) existence of emergency planning at home; c) existence of emergency planning at workplace (hazard mitigation actions, evacuation plan, and performance of drills); and, d) respondents` perception about their level of earthquake preparedness. The results revealed a serious lack of knowledge and preparedness among respondents. Taking into consideration the aforementioned gap and in order to raise awareness and improve preparedness and effective response of volunteers acting in civil protection, the EVANDE project was submitted and approved by the European Commission (EC). The aim of that project is to educate and train civil protection volunteers on the most serious natural disasters, such as forest fires, floods, and earthquakes, and thus, increase their performance.

Keywords: Earthquake, Preparedness, Civil Protection, Volunteers

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4 Preparedness Level of Disaster Management Institutions in Context of Floods in Delhi

Authors: Aditi Madan, Jayant Kumar Routray

Abstract:

Purpose: Over the years flood related risks have compounded due to increasing vulnerability caused by rapid urbanisation and growing population. This increase is an indication of the need for enhancing the preparedness of institutions to respond to floods. The study describes disaster management structure and its linkages with institutions involved in managing disasters. It addresses issues and challenges associated with readiness of disaster management institutions to respond to floods. It suggests policy options for enhancing the current state of readiness of institutions to respond by considering factors like institutional, manpower, financial, technical, leadership & networking, training and awareness programs, monitoring and evaluation. Methodology: The study is based on qualitative data with statements and outputs from primary and secondary sources to understand the institutional framework for disaster management in India. Primary data included field visits, interviews with officials from institutions managing disasters and the affected community to identify the challenges faced in engaging national, state, district and local level institutions in managing disasters. For focus group discussions, meetings were held with district project officers and coordinators, local officials, community based organisation, civil defence volunteers and community heads. These discussions were held to identify the challenges associated with preparedness to respond of institutions to floods. Findings: Results show that disasters are handled by district authority and the role of local institutions is limited to a reactive role during disaster. Data also indicates that although the existing institutional setup is well coordinated at the district level but needs improvement at the local level. Wide variations exist in awareness and perception among the officials engaged in managing disasters. Additionally, their roles and responsibilities need to be clearly defined with adequate budget and dedicated permanent staff for managing disasters. Institutions need to utilise the existing manpower through proper delegation of work. Originality: The study suggests that disaster risk reduction needs to focus more towards inclusivity of the local urban bodies. Wide variations exist in awareness and perception among the officials engaged in managing disasters. In order to ensure community participation, it is important to address their social and economic problems since such issues can overshadow attempts made for reducing risks. Thus, this paper suggests development of direct linkages among institutions and community for enhancing preparedness to respond to floods.

Keywords: Flood, Disaster, Community, Preparedness, response, institution

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3 Preparedness of the Mae Hong Son Province for the Aging Society

Authors: Siwaporn Mahathamnuchock, Krit Phanpanya

Abstract:

This survey study aims 1) to investigate the preparation of Mae Hong Son people for entering into the aging society 2) to study awareness of public health preparedness for the aging society of Mae Hong Son Province Administrative Organization. The samples used in this study were people aged 55-60 years in Mae Hong Province. Located at Khun Yuam Sub district, Khun Yuam District, Pang Ma Pha Sub district, Pang Ma Pha District, Thung Yao Sub district, Pai District, Mae ka Tuan Sub district, Sob Moei District, Mae Sariang Sub district, Mae Sariang District, Mae Tho Sub district, Mae La Noi District. And Huai Pha Sub district, Muang Mae Hong District. The data were collected from 1,088 people by Stratified sampling Method. The instrument used in this study were 36 items of questionnaire that contains three parts: 1) Sample’s general information 2) The Interview of Mae Hong Son people’s preparation before entering aging society. 3) The Interview about preparedness of health for the aging society of Mae Hong Son Province Administrative Organization. Then analyzed the data by using percentage and standard deviation. The research found that Mae Hong Son people are preparing for an aging society as followed; psychological, residence, physical health, careers and leisure time on a large scale with an average of 3.81 (SD=0.88), 3.66 (SD=0.99), 3.53(SD=1.04) and 3.51(SD=0.89), respectively. However finances and saving were prepared on moderate scale with an average of 2.84(SD=0.89) and in the awareness of public health preparedness for the aging society of Mae Hong Son Province Administrative Organization were moderate with an average of 2.99 (SD=1.07).

Keywords: Perception, Preparedness, aging society, Mae Hong Son province

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2 Pre-Primary Schools’ Earthquake Safety Initiative in Greece

Authors: A. Kourou, A. Ioakeimidou, A. Gakou

Abstract:

Greece due to its location in the Eastern Mediterranean region is characterized by a high degree of seismicity and occurrence of severe earthquakes. It is generally accepted that preventive planning is vital in mitigating impacts, protecting those who are the most vulnerable namely children and increasing the degree of resilience of local communities. Worldwide, States have highlighted the need to ensure the safety of early childhood environments in case of disaster. A great number of children are enrolled in daycare facilities, so building and improving the preparedness of pre-primary schools to prevent injuries and fatalities in case of an earthquake becomes an important policy issue. It is more than evident that preparedness in early preschool level will be increased through awareness and education of the people who work to pre-primary classes and provide early childhood care. The aim of the present study is to assess the level of awareness and preparedness of the Greek pre-primary schools staff concerning earthquake protection issues, as well as their risk mitigation behaviors and earthquake management in case of a strong event. In this framework, specific questionnaire was developed and filled by the abovementioned target group at 30 different municipalities of Greece (2014-2016). Also in the framework of this study it is presented the Pre-Primary Schools’ Earthquake Safety Initiative that has been undertaken by Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization (EPPO) the last years. This initiative aims to develop disaster-resilient day care centers through awareness, self-help, cooperation and education. Recognizing the necessity of integration of the disaster safety concept at pre-primary environments, EPPO published practical guidelines that focused on earthquake planning of these workspaces. Furthermore, dozens of seminars are implemented in municipality or prefecture-level every year by EPPO, in order the early childhood schools’ staff to be appropriately educated and adequately trained to face the earthquake risk. Great progress has been made towards building awareness and increasing preschool preparedness in Greece but significant gaps still remain. Anyway, it is extremely important that the implementation of effective programs and practices and the broad collaboration of all involved parties have been recognized as essential in order to develop a comprehensive disaster management system at preschool environment.

Keywords: Education, Earthquake, Preparedness, awareness, emergency plans, pre-primary schools

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1 Mathematics Anxiety among Secondary Level Students in Nepal: Classroom Environment Perspective

Authors: Krishna Chandra Paudel

Abstract:

This paper explores the association between the perceived classroom environment and mathematics learning and test anxiety among secondary level students in Nepal. Categorizing the students in three dominant variables- gender, ethnicity and previous schooling, and selecting sample students with respect to higher mathematics anxiety from five heterogeneous classes, the research explores disparities in student's mathematics cognition and reveals nexus between classroom environment and mathematics learning and test anxiety. This research incorporates social learning theory and social development theory as interpretive tool for analyzing themes through qualitative data. Focussing on the interviews with highly mathematics learning anxious students, the study sheds light on how mathematics anxiety among the targeted students is interlinked with multiple factors. The research basically exposes the students’ lack of mathematical passion, their association with other students and participation in classroom learning, asymmetrical content and their lack of preparedness for the tests as caustic factors behind such anxieties. The study further reveals that students’ lack of foundational knowledge and complexity of mathematical content have jointly contributed to mathematics anxiety. Admitting learning as a reciprocal experience, the study points out that the students’ gender, ethnicity and disparities in previous schooling in the context of Nepal has very insignificant impact on students’ mathematics anxiety. It finally recommends that the students who get trapped into the vicious cycle of mathematics anxiety require positive and supportive classroom environment along with inspiring comments/compliments and symmetrical course contents.

Keywords: Cognition, pedagogy, Preparedness, Anxiety, habitus, asymmetry

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