An earthquake emergency response and evacuation exercise in a New Zealand school : a 2011 case study report

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Coomer, M.A.; Tarrant, R.A.C.; Hughes, M.E.; Johnson, V.; Johnston, D.M. 2012 An earthquake emergency response and evacuation exercise in a New Zealand school : a 2011 case study report. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. GNS Science report 2012/03 13 p.

Abstract: The Wellington region is an extremely hazardous place to live. This is due to the range of potential natural hazard events that could occur in the region e.g. flood, earthquake, landslide, ashfall, tsunami, coastal storm surge. Children and their families have been identified as especially vulnerable to the effects of hazards. An earthquake response and evacuation exercise was observed and evaluated in a fully occupied primary school in Wellington, New Zealand. The observed school has a well-developed protocol for keeping the pupils as safe as possible in the event of an earthquake. The purpose of this evaluation by practitioners and research personnel in emergency management, was twofold: to observe a school emergency evacuation in progress; to suggest modifications to the exercise by identifying issues for best practice in school earthquake preparedness and evacuation. Research aimed at assisting children, youth, and families cope more effectively with the effects of disasters is being undertaken in the Wellington region, and key lessons emerging from the present case study will contribute to informing best practice for earthquake safety in New Zealand schools. (auth)