Tehran Safe and Ready Schools Project at a glance

Introduction

Past experiences demonstrated that students are of the most vulnerable groups in societies and in case of occurrence disasters and earthquakes in school time, there would be a great loss if they are not prepared. Students are our future therefore, in cities that are prone to disasters, the same as Tehran, implementation of plans for reducing risks and protecting children should be done in order to improve urban resiliency. But, achieving this goal is not as easy as it appears.

Based on this, Tehran Disaster Mitigation and Management Organization which is an organization affiliated to Tehran Municipality, in cooperation with Tehran Education and Training Department of Education Ministry launched a two –year project entitled " Tehran Ready and Safe Schools" from 2014 to 2016 for making 400 pilot schools prepared for emergency response in disasters.

Objective

In general, increasing preparedness, safety and empowerment of Tehran schools for emergency response is the major goal of the plan but other objectives are as follows:

  • Improving public participation and cooperation between citizens, organizations and related bodies in disaster management field
  • Preparation of Tehran Schools Risk Reduction Master Plan
  • Improvement of Educational Justice
  • Variation of citizens' life style in line with improvement of resilience culture
  • Improvement of individual skills for students and school staff
  • Strengthening participation and group activities structure for students and school staff
Definition

Safe and Ready School from Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) view point is the school in which vulnerability has been minimized, emergency response ability has been increased and in case of disasters occurrence, with the least damages, loss and within a short period of time, it will be bounced back to it's effectiveness.

Characteristics of Safe and Ready Schools
  • Required DRR public trainings convened for all the students and the staff,
  • School Risks identified;
  • Integrated Risk Reduction Plan is in place;
  • Effective bilateral relationship with students' families and emergency response organizations existed;
  • The school equipped with the required facilities for emergency response.
Implementation Plan

Implementation plan of the project has three phases as follows:

  • First phase: personnel training and establishment of School disaster management group which is divided to the followings
    • School disaster management representative training (each school has a disaster management representative who will selected by the school principal and will be responsible for following up the project);
    • School personnel training ( convening a eighteen- hours training course in coordination with school representative and cooperation of District Disaster Management Headquarter. Firefighting, self-protection, first aid and evacuation drills are among the training syllables);
    • Establishment of School disaster management group with at least 3 to 12 members, following completion of training courses;
    • Drills for practicing what has been learned ( following convening drills, evaluation will be done for recognition of strength and weaknesses
  • Second phase: focusing on reducing risks including
    • Risks recognition and preparation of the list;
    • Preparation of Risk Reduction Plan;
    • Implementation of Risk Reduction Plan;
    • Preparation of students data bank in terms of health and skills;
    • Equipping schools with required facilities for emergency response;
  • Third phase: training for students and their families as follows
    • Students' general trainings in schools;
    • Students' half a day training in Special Disaster Management Bases in 22 municipal districts of Tehran (according to the location of the schools);
    • Participation in a two- day technical training camp for volunteer students in disaster management field (Dawam )
    • Preparation and submission of cultural packages for school staff, students and their families
TOR for School Disaster Management Group (SDMG)

The SDMG TOR has been defined as follows

  • In normal condition (Mitigation, Risk Reduction and preparedness)
    • Risk recognition and increasing safety;
    • Reviewing systems, electronic facilities and heating installations;
    • Reviewing firm alarm and firefighting systems;
    • Non- structural retrofitting;
    • Evaluation of existing resources ( financial and human resources);
    • Finding appropriate locations for emergency evacuation, Building emergency evacuation sites and recognition of emergency roads
    • Updating data bank of school and students and sharing with disaster management related organizations;
    • Equipping required facilities, medicine and food in a safe place at school
    • Holding periodic and annual drills at school;
    • Holding joint meetings and communication with disaster management related bodies' representatives;
    • Continuation of trainings for school staff, students and their families
  • At the time of disasters ( Emergency response)
    • Cutting off life lines ( Gas, Water and electric power)
    • On time emergency evacuation for students according to Disaster Management group commander;
    • Fire fighting for small fires
    • Protecting students and keeping them in safe places;
    • First aid to injured and victims
    • Communication and information dissemination to students' families;
    • Keeping students in safe places at least for 48 hours or until the presence of their families;
    • Information dissemination to rescue and relief groups on number of injured or affected people;
    • Coordination for entrance and exit.
  • After occurrence of disaster and recovery time (continuation of activities)
    • Preparation of Report, documentation of students' status and amount of damages to schools and submission of reports to official responsible bodies;
    • Holding joint meeting with students' families and responsible authorities as required and/ or for preparation of operation plan;
    • Controlling injured people situation and performing actions as required e.g. mental protection, supporting administrative and executive measures;
    • Performing measures for returning schools' to normal activities;
    • Feasibility studies for utilization of school space as evacuation site if it is required;
    • Evaluation of measures and revising the plans accordingly.

Published on March 15, 2016