30.05.2012 - UNESCO Office in Amman

Students learn safe behavior in case of emergencies during evacuation drills

©UNESCO AMMANStudents at a girls schools during the evacuation drills

©UNESCO AMMANStudents at a girls schools during the evacuation drills


Evacuation drills were implemented by the Civil Defence at four pilot schools during the week 27 to 31 May to prepare students on safe behavior in case of an evacuation due to natural disaster or manmade disaster. During hands-on exercises, young students learned about precaution and safety measures during an evacuation. The schools were chosen in vulnerable areas in Amman and located in highly populated areas.

These drills are the continuation of the Introducing Concepts on Disaster Risk Reduction in Schools conducted by UNESCO Office in Amman. Prior to the evacuation drills two guidebooks were produced for students (1-4th grade/ 5-10th grade) on earthquakes, flood preparedness and safe behavior and distributes them to all schools in Jordan and forty-eight teachers from the selected schools in Amman were trained on concepts of disaster risk reduction and the use of the guidebooks. In addition, four Public Service Announcements (PSAs) in cartoon format explaining in an easy and family friendly way how to be prepared for a natural disaster at home and at were produced and launched in Jordan.

Building on the teachers contingency plans developed earlier in the project, the drills saw great participation and preparedness among teachers and students. UNESCO Office in Amman distributed guidebooks during the drills and teachers will continue training students based on the guidebooks. After the summer break, the Jordan Red Crescent will distribute Disaster Risk Reduction bags for each of the piloted schools.

Jordan is vulnerable to natural disasters which are not predictable phenomena and require coordinated emergency and contingency plans to minimize the risks. To be prepared for natural disasters is particularly important considering that Jordan sits on the seismic active Dead Sea Transform fault and is therefore vulnerable to strong earthquakes -an estimated 80% of Jordan’s population lives in an area of 30 kilometers from the Dead Sea Transform fault. In addition, Jordan is also at risk of flash floods and landslides.

The long-term aim of this project is that the introduction of concepts on disaster risk reduction becomes self-sustainable under the guidance of the Ministry of Education, and that training students evacuation drills compulsory under the supervision of the Civil Defence.

For further information please contact Sawsan Batarseh, s.batarseh@unesco.org

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