Emergency preparedness in New Zealand schools : a summary of survey results

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Tipler, K.S.; Tarrant, R.A.; Johnston, D.M.; K.F. Tuffin 2015 Emergency preparedness in New Zealand schools : a summary of survey results. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. GNS Science report 2015/48 25 p.

Abstract: Emergency events, both large and small, pose a daily risk to schools throughout New Zealand (NZ). It is therefore essential that all schools have plans and procedures in place to respond appropriately. The 2012 NZ ShakeOut earthquake drill provided an opportunity to gather survey data from 355 schools about their emergency preparedness and response capabilities. The respondent schools represented more than 120,000 children and adults. The study findings indicate that most schools undertake basic preparedness activities such as: having an emergency response plan; conducting fire and earthquake drills; ensuring at least some staff received physical first aid training; and providing students with some form of hazard education programmes. However, the findings also identify inconsistency between schools as to the extent of their emergency planning efforts, with many restricted in the types of emergency drills they conduct, and the level of engagement they have with school stakeholders. In response to the inconsistencies indicated, the present study recommends the need for further research examining the precise content of school emergency response plans, the specific response elements practised in emergency drills, and further clarification of the extent to which schools engage with and involve stakeholders in their emergency preparedness activities. Such recommendations are consistent with those identified in comparable studies undertaken internationally. (auth)