At the end of the 20th century, an estimated 66.5 million children each year were affected by a natural disaster, and this number will most likely increase, owing to shifts within society and large climate changes."
— Penrose A, Takaki M (2006); Save the Children UK (2007); and Save the Children UK (2009) 1
On September 15, the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of Education, and the American Red Cross held a National Summit on Youth Preparedness to develop a framework for a national strategy on grades K-12 preparedness education and to increase youth preparedness knowledge, skills, and behaviors.
This summit brought together participants from the fields of youth communications; youth-serving programs; developers of youth preparedness education; practitioners from the state, tribal, and local levels; and academia. The summit shared how schools can help promote community resilience in disasters, how students will best learn preparedness skills, and how different countries around the world are helping youth prepare for and respond to emergencies.
In conjunction with the Summit, FEMA released a report, Bringing Youth Preparedness Education to the Forefront: A Literature Review and Recommendations (PDF, 23 Pages). The report summarizes research and evaluations in the field of youth disaster preparedness and education, including youth preparedness education, school programs and curricula, and community engagement for youth preparedness. The report concludes with recommended practices for youth disaster education and research, drawn from Kevin R. Ronan and David M. Johnston’s book, Promoting Community Resilience in Disasters: The Role for Schools, Youth, and Families (2005).
A selection of recommended practices for youth disaster education:
1 Penrose A, Takaki M. (2006) Children’s rights in emergencies and disasters. The Lancet. 367: 698-699; Save the Children UK (2007) Legacy of Disasters: The impact of climate change on children; Save the Children UK (2009) Feeling the Heat: Child Survival in a Changing Climate.
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