Are You Prepared? Tips for Safety in Schools and Homes

Schools are more vulnerable in case of disasters as children are unaware of the impacts of disasters. The major natural hazards are flood, earthquake, cyclone, drought, etc. Examples of some major man-made hazards are fire, road accident, terrorist attack, kidnapping, food poisoning, deliberate violence, stampede, etc.

A safe school is a school, which is: • Located in a hazard free area • Constructed to withstand the hazard to which it is exposed • Will not collapse or get affected if a disaster happens The main components of a School Disaster Management Plan are: • Sensitisation and awareness amongst teachers and school management • Formation of the Disaster Management Committee • Hazard identification and assessment • Inventory of resource - human and material • Mapping • Formation and training of Disaster Management teams • Mock drills and review, approval and updating of the plan with time The resource mapping of school includes both human and material resources. The vulnerability or risk map of the school shows the potentially vulnerable areas in the school building. The safe evacuation route chart helps in the following: • Identification of safe places in the school • Provide the location of staircases, doors and windows, open spaces, etc. • Alternative staircases or routes • Safe exits are demarcated on the map • Identifies the safe places where the children and staff members can take shelter. The review, approval and updating of plan is important to resolve any problem. The plans are required to be updated every six months. Plans must be approved by the Disaster Management Committee. It should be shared with the district level officials, i.e., District Magistrate or District Education Officer.

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