Help teach disaster preparedness at schools in Aizawl, Mizoram

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Background

Mizoram is among the eastern most states of India set in the Himalayas. One of the youngest States of India, Mizoram is flanked by Bangladesh on the west, Myanmar on the east & south. A majority of the Mizo population is cultivators, and they have one of the most closely knit societies in the whole of the country. Mizoram is also the second most literate state in the country at an impressive 93.21%.


Mizoram is also astride the major tectonic boundary between the Indian plate and the Eurasian plate and is highly prone to earthquakes and landslides. Due to its unique geographical setting, only two major landslide prone roads connect the State with the rest of the country. If a major earthquake affects the State, it will get cut-off from the rest of the country and may have to manage on its own till the roads and the landslides have been cleared.

Adding to the problem is that the capital city of Aizawl has been built on steep slopes of the young mountains of the lower Himalayas. The city grew around an old Army camp and with little thought on planning and earthquake resistance. This city has a population of 293,416 (Census 2011) and is considered to be one of the most hazard prone cities in the region. Almost 40% of the population of the State (1, 091,014 as per 2011 census) lives in this city. Aizawl has few local technical resources to provide the guidance needed to address its problems in a meaningful way.


One of the main causes of concern for Mizos is the complete lack of preparedness in schools in the city and any earthquake striking the city during school hours will result in monumental losses for the community, affecting future of generations of Mizos

The Mission:

It is therefore imperative that school preparedness activities be initiated in the city, which also results in mass awareness among the Mizo community about the hazards, and possible preparedness measures at school and at home. GeoHazards Society proposes to initiate preparedness activities in 50 Schools in Aizawl City through awareness generation, training for preparedness, development of preparedness plans culminating in a mass preparedness drill ‘Aizawl Quakeout’ wherein all the participant schools will carry out an emergency preparedness drill on a date decided by the Education Department of the Government of Mizoram. All activities will be carried out in collaboration with concerned government departments and all efforts will be made to institutionalise the mass drill and get it added into the school calendars in the following years.

The Plan:

1. Advocacy with the local government: A meeting and sensitization programme with the education department of the Aizawl district will be carried out to take them as main stakeholder of the project. It will help in the execution of the project activities and make the mission sustain in future.

2. Selection and mobilization of schools: The targeted 50 Schools will be selected for the project and will be mobilized with the help of the education department.

3. Develop awareness materials: To accelerate the awareness among the children, teachers, parents and other citizens GeoHazards Society will develop coloured posters and write-ups on importance of Quakeout drill, how to perform Drop Cover Hold on during earthquake and evacuate safely after the shaking ends.

4. Training for teacher and student: After the selection and mobilization of schools representatives from the schools will be invited for a sensitization cum training programme.
The Principal/ Vice Principal and the teacher coordinator of Disaster Management will be the representatives who will be trained centrally at Aizawl.

For training of 100 representatives (two from each of the 50 schools), two training programmes will be carried out. Each sensitization cum training session will cover the need of earthquake safety at school, preparedness planning, safe evacuation planning and safety from falling hazards inside classroom, and what to do in a ‘School Quakeout Drill’. School safety specialists will carry out the trainings. All children in the school will also be sensitized to various aspects of disaster safety.

5. Following the training, all the schools will be assisted in developing their evacuation plan of the school building within 15 days from the training date. GeoHazards Society representative will follow up with schools and will provide them with technical support as needed.

6. First Aid Kit: For every participant school, GeoHazards Society will donate a First Aid Kit

7. Quakeout Drill: One of the last and important steps of the project is the ‘Quakeout drill’. The Quakeout drill will be a well-publicised event involving all participating schools and earthquake preparedness drill will be conducted simultaneously in all schools. The steps of the drill will be:
  • There will be a special bell (siren) and all the students will do a Drop, Cover Hold on under their respective desk for a minute.
  • On a second bell, the students will evacuate their classrooms following the designated evacuation route to assemble at the pre-designated Assembly Area.
  • There will be roll call to find out the missing students and if someone is found missing the Search & Rescue Team will be activated.
  • The First-aid will be provided to the injured at First-aid point.
  • After an hour the Incident Commander (Principal) will terminate the drill with an announcement.
  • There will be a debriefing among the teachers to find out recommendations for change and then the existing plan will be revised.
8. Lessons learnt: A detailed report with the steps that had been followed leading upto the drill and the lessons learnt will be discussed with the education department and other stakeholders.

Community Benefits

The direct beneficiaries will be 20,000 teachers and students of the schools, as their capacities are being built on how to be safe during an earthquake. However, the families of the students and teachers will be the indirect beneficiaries from the project considering each teacher and student as one household representative. Then 20,000 households, with an average occupants per household as 4, will lead to 80,000 persons will be benefited.

How you can help:

​By contributing to GeoHazards effort to spread disaster and emergency preparedness you would directly influence the safety of countless lives across the country of Mizoram. For the above said training GeoHazards Society will like to raise Rs. 8,10,650.





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Rs.91,000
raised of Rs.810,650 goal

7 Supporters

0 Days to go

Payment options: Online, cheque/cash pickups

Beneficiary: GeoHazard Socie... info_outline
80G tax benefits for INR donations

Supporters (7)

SM
Sana donated Rs.2,500
Mohandoss
Mohandoss donated Rs.20,000

Best wishes from Murugesan Family (KPM)

EJ
Eilia donated Rs.5,000
Akanksha
Akanksha donated Rs.51,000
DP
Debbie donated Rs.5,000

Good luck!!!

Neha
Neha donated Rs.5,000