Preparedness to cope with hazards : a survey of Wellington Intermediate schools

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SR_2010-002-pdf
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Tarrant, R.A.C.; Johnston, D.M. 2010 Preparedness to cope with hazards : a survey of Wellington Intermediate schools Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. GNS Science report 2010/02 31 p.

Abstract: The present study investigated the perceptions, knowledge and preparedness needed to cope in a range of natural hazard scenarios, with particular attention given to earthquakes and tsunami. The survey comprised 852 intermediate school children in the Wellington region. The children generally demonstrated a realistic understanding of the likelihood of earthquakes and tsunami occurring in the Wellington region at large, and the large majority of children surveyed understood the causes of earthquake and tsunami, and knew best practice in the event of these two hazards. However, about 20% of the children were ‘often’ fearful of earthquakes and tsunami. It appears that only a minority of children discuss with their parents what they learn about hazards at school, and family preparedness rates were low for dealing with an emergency event. Results suggest that future hazards programmes in schools include emotional-coping components to help reduce maladaptive fear, and also include hazards related homework exercises requiring interaction with the whole family to encourage the flow-on effect of school-learning to the home and wider community. (auth)