School-based disaster preparedness: a route to societal resilience? The case study of Ljungby municipality, Sweden
Sammanfattning: Children are valuable resources when it comes to disaster preparedness and they should no longer be seen as vulnerable. Since they spend about five days a week in school for almost the whole year, it is natural to consider preparing them for hazards while there. The purpose of the present research is to explore the perceived importance and feasibility of implementing school-based disaster preparedness (SBDP) in Sweden by the means of a case study of Ljungby municipality. Through the means of semi-structured interviews, questionnaires and secondary data, the author aims at understanding how the respondents - students and school staff - perceive SBDP, whether they see it as useful for their schools and how this type of disaster preparedness can contribute to their municipality’s resilience. The study concludes that the respondents understand the importance of SBDP and would like the administration to focus more on creating crisis plans for each school, as well as on both a short- and long-term strategic preparedness. In addition, a shift in focus from training only staff to including students as valuable resources and considering their levels of preparedness is noticed, as well as the need to increase the awareness regarding the available SBDP items in each school. The existent crisis plans might need additional consideration in order to ensure their adaptability to schools’ needs, capacities, lessons learnt and locations. Further studies are needed in regard to whether students-aimed SBDP can be used for creating a sustainable SBDP culture within communities, municipalities and later on, entire countries.
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