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12/03/2009

About the Disaster Prevention Workshop

In this entry, I’d like to talk about the disaster prevention workshop, which has been made possible with the help of late Ms. Kiyohara Miyako and assistance from the Japanese government.

JEN runs a four-day workshop on disaster prevention with the local people.

On the first day, people learn about natural disasters, their entailed damages, and evacuation protocols. Since most people have not heard of the word “disaster prevention” or “disasters mitigation,” JEN teaches basic knowledge on these subjects.

The next day, we look back on our cyclone experience. We let the people recollect their memories from the outbreak of cyclone to their life as refugees. This way, people are able to evaluate how to prepare themselves for natural disasters, problems that they had, what has helped them, and think about measures they can take for the future.

On the third day, we make a hazard map (a map that outlines the dangerous and safe areas) and a calendar that notes the town’s events. For the hazard map, we divide into several groups, walk around the village, investigate dangerous and safe regions, note them on a map, and give presentations on our findings.

On the final day, we look back on the town’s history and discuss what we could prepare for the next time. We play a messaging game, through which we learn how difficult it is to convey accurate information to others.

Upon completion of the four-day workshop, people are trained on evacuation protocols. This will convert knowledge to experience. Participants would retain their knowledge better when they actually get to try it out. Furthermore, we go over the plan to hold regular evacuation training with the people.

Finally, we make a handbook that compiles what people have learned, realized, or determined after the workshop. By distributing a copy for each house, we can give local families a chance to think about disaster prevention and avoid forgetting about their cyclone experience. We don’t make and distribute handbooks in an imposing manner, but try to make them for the people and by the people.

This is the disaster prevention workshop that JEN conducts for the local people.

December 3, 2009 in Myanmar |