Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Search results for: A. Kourou

3 School Emergency Drills Evaluation through E-PreS Monitoring System

Authors: A. Kourou, A. Ioakeimidou, V. Avramea

Abstract:

Planning for natural disasters and emergencies is something every school or educational institution must consider, regardless of its size or location. Preparedness is the key to save lives if a disaster strikes. School disaster management mirrors individual and family disaster prevention, and wider community disaster prevention efforts. This paper presents the usage of E-PreS System as a helpful, managerial tool during the school earthquake drill, in order to support schools in developing effective disaster and emergency plans specific to their local needs. The project comes up with a holistic methodology using real-time evaluation involving different categories of actors, districts, steps and metrics. The main outcomes of E-PreS project are the development of E-PreS web platform that host the needed data of school emergency planning; the development of E-PreS System; the implementation of disaster drills using E-PreS System in educational premises and local schools; and the evaluation of E-PreS System. Taking into consideration that every disaster drill aims to test and valid school plan and procedures; clarify and train personnel in roles and responsibilities; improve interagency coordination; identify gaps in resources; improve individual performance; and identify opportunities for improvement, E-PreS Project was submitted and approved by the European Commission (EC).

Keywords: Disaster drills, earthquake preparedness, E-PreS system, school emergency plans.

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2 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: Civil protection, earthquake preparedness, volunteers.

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1 An Integrated Approach to Child Care Earthquake Preparedness through “Telemachus” Project

Authors: A. Kourou, S. Kyriakopoulos, N. Anyfanti

Abstract:

A lot of children under the age of five spend their daytime hours away from their home, in a kindergarten. Caring for children is a serious subject, and their safety in case of earthquake is the first priority. Being aware of earthquakes helps to prioritize the needs and take the appropriate actions to limit the effects. Earthquakes occurring anywhere at any time require emergency planning. Earthquake planning is a cooperative effort and childcare providers have unique roles and responsibilities. Greece has high seismicity and Ionian Islands Region has the highest seismic activity of the country. Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization (EPPO) is a national organization in Greece. The mission of EPPO is the seismic risk reduction by designing an earthquake management program of mitigation and preparedness. Among other actions EPPO has analyzed the needs and requirements of kindergartens on earthquake protection issues and has designed specific activities to familiarize the day care centers staff being prepared for earthquakes.  This research presents the results of a survey that detects the level of earthquake preparedness of kindergartens in all over the country and Ionian Islands too. A closed-form questionnaire of 20 main questions was developed for the survey in order to detect the aspects of participants concerning the earthquake preparedness actions at individual, family and day care environment level. 2668 questionnaires were gathered from March 2014 to May 2019, and analyzed by EPPO’s Department of Education. Moreover, this paper presents the EPPO’s educational activities targeted to the Ionian Islands Region that implemented in the framework of “Telemachus” Project. To provide safe environment for children to learn, and staff to work is the foremost goal of any State, community and kindergarten. This project is funded under the Priority Axis “Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development” of Operational Plan “Ionian Islands 2014-2020”. It is increasingly accepted that emergency preparedness should be thought of as an ongoing process rather than a one-time activity. Creating an earthquake safe daycare environment that facilitates learning is a challenging task. Training, drills, and update of emergency plan should take place throughout the year at kindergartens to identify any gaps and to ensure the emergency procedures. EPPO will continue to work closely with regional and local authorities to actively address the needs of children and kindergartens before, during and after earthquakes.

Keywords: Child care centers, education on earthquake issues, emergency planning, Ionian Islands Region of Greece, kindergartens, preparedness.

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