Education is key for reducing children’s risks to disasters

When disaster strikes children often suffer the most, but if we can teach them at an early age about the risks posed by natural hazards, they will have a better chance to survive and thrive in the aftermath of a disaster.

Natural hazards, such as floods, tornadoes and hurricanes, do not need to become disasters. For example, if a hurricane churns through a location where no one lives, the hurricane is just a natural hazard, not a disaster. But if people are living in the area where the hurricane makes land fall are affected and even killed by the hurricane, in this case, the hurricane becomes a disaster.

The United Nation Office for Disaster Risk Reduction has developed a series of on-line disaster simulation games designed to teach children around the world how to protect themselves from natural hazards before they can become major disasters.

Children who play the games learn how the location and the construction materials used to build houses can make a difference when disasters strike, as well as how early warning systems, evacuation plans and education can save lives.

As the future architects, mayors, doctors, and parents of the world of tomorrow, when children know what to do to reduce the impact of disasters, they will be obliged create a safer world for the generations that come after them.

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