Impact of an educational program on earthquake awareness and preparedness in Nepal

Subedi, Shiba; Hetényi, György; Shackleton, Ross

Scientific education of local communities is key in helping to reduce the risk associated with natural disasters such as earthquakes. Western Nepal has a history of major seismic events and is highly prone to further earthquakes; however, the majority of the population is not aware about or prepared for them. To increase earthquake awareness and improve preparedness, a seismology education program was established at 22 schools in Nepal. At each school, educational activities were performed by teaching earthquake-related topics in classrooms, offering training to teachers and through installing a low-cost seismometer network which supported both teaching and awareness objectives. To test the effects of this program, we conducted two surveys with school children, one before and one after the initiation of the program, with several hundred participants in each. The survey findings highlighted that educational activities implemented at schools are effective in raising the awareness levels of children, promoting broader social learning in the community, thus improving the adaptive capacities and preparedness for future earthquakes. However, perceptions of risk did not change very much. The high and positive impact of the program on the students and the community is encouraging for the continuation and expansion of the program.

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Subedi, Shiba / Hetényi, György / Shackleton, Ross: Impact of an educational program on earthquake awareness and preparedness in Nepal. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Shiba Subedi et al.

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