Prepared by Victoria A. Johnson, MSc, August 2011
with funding from the sponsors of the Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowships in Public Policy
Victoria Johnson is the Co-founder of ProFellow.com, a website which provides advice and information on fellowships. Victoria has over 10 years experience in the field of emergency management and policy, beginnning with her first job at the New York City Office of Emergency Management during the 9/11 response and recovery operation. Prior to her Axford Fellowship exchange to New Zealand Victoria was the Policy Director of the National Commission on Children and Disasters in Washington, DC which submitted its final report to President Obama and Congress in October 2010.
During Victoria’s Ian Axford Fellowship she was based at the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management in Wellington, where she researched the implementation of “What’s the Plan, Stan?” a national resource for disaster preparedness education in New Zealand schools.
Through efforts to ensure disaster preparedness better meets the needs of children, the United States government is currently considering strategies to provide disaster preparedness education to children and youth in schools and extracurricular activities. In 2006, the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management developed “What’s the Plan, Stan?”, a single national teaching resource for school-based disaster preparedness education and emergency planning. This study aimed to assess the implementation of “What’s the Plan, Stan?” and identify some of the impacts of developing and promoting a single, national resource for disaster preparedness education in schools. The devastating earthquake in Christchurch on February 22, 2011 uniquely impacted the results of this study.
Seven focus groups in different regions of New Zealand were conducted with primary and intermediate school educators. An online survey of participating teachers and interviews with local and regional civil defence staff added additional layers of information. This report provides recommendations for a national outcomes-based strategy for disaster preparedness education, the establishment of a National School Earthquake Exercise Day and the incorporation of disaster preparedness lessons into established safety and life skills education programmes for children.
Appendix 1: Focus Group Questionnaire
Appendix 2: Regional Demographics And Hazards
Appendix 3: Participating School Demographics
Appendix 4: Online Survey Questionnaire
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