The first step required to take in the direction of curbing destruction caused by disaster is to be aware of the risks and means to handle the same. It is important to understand the quantum of disaster which can follow as a result of such problems. Ignorance has been playing a dominant factor for causing huge loss of life and property due to disasters.
When an earthquake strikes, people in buildings are highly unsafe. School children are unsafe under such circumstances. Apart from this fact, there are other factors also which makes the children and staff in school vulnerable to disaster. History has witnessed terror attacks on innocent school children. The casualties have only risen in the recent years and the rise has set the alarm bells ringing for the respective country governments to ensure the safety of the school children and staff members. The aim of a school disaster management planning is to
• Identify the existence of risk factors, which may be in the form of poor infrastructure. These days it is prescribed that buildings should be earthquake-resistant.
• Ensure the safety of the children and the staff members.
• Mitigation of the effects by effective management and planning.
The schools are located in colonies and communities with neighbourhood. Thus they are also responsible to be equipped with safety so that school and neighbourhood can be protected.
• The safety layout plan should be simple and concise with clear demarcation of roles and responsibilities allotted to the personnel.
• It should be flexible because emergency situations can arise at any point of time and on the spot decisions may vary as per the prescribed ones.
• It should have preventive measures clearly stated. The responsive plan should be known to all the members and the school children should be educated about the same with regular reinforcement. Mock drills can be helpful too, especially in terror vulnerable areas.
• The school neighbourhood and community should also be a part of it.
Some people live or work in environments and under situations which pose threat to life and property. The terms like Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) can be recognized as one such similar situation. The organisations should ensure the safety of the employees. The people should be aware of the environment and surrounding risks and threats so that safety measures can be adopted.
• The surrounding/environment in which they live or work. • The ability to analyze the situation and the risks involved. • The ability to respond to risks and curb the destruction which may follow.