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Bringing Youth Preparedness Education to the Forefront: A Literature Review and Recommendations

Security, U.S. Department of Homeland; Management Agency, Federal Emergency

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ISBN 10: 1492862886 / ISBN 13: 9781492862888
Editorial: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
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Título: Bringing Youth Preparedness Education to the...

Editorial: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Encuadernación: PAPERBACK

Condición del libro:New

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This document summarizes research and evaluations in the field of youth disaster preparedness and education. Findings based on this literature review are presented in three principal categories: individual/youth preparedness education, school programs and curricula, and community engagement for youth preparedness. The report then concludes with recommended practices for youth disaster education and research to help achieve greater levels of preparedness activities among children and their families. In 2006, 73.7 million children were under the age of 18 in the United States, and it is projected that this number will grow to 74.4 million children by the year 2010, constituting more than a quarter of the entire U.S. population (National Commission on Children and Disasters, 2009b; U.S. Census Bureau, 2004). Additionally, 14.1 million children live in poverty, which constitutes 35 percent of the poor population, causing them to be disproportionately affected by disasters (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2009). At the end of the 20th century, an estimated 66.5 million children each year were affected by a disaster (Penrose and Takaki, 2006), and this number will most likely increase, owing to shifts within society and large climate changes. Despite this vulnerability, however, scant attention has been given to this particular population regarding emergency preparedness and planning. Both researchers and practitioners have traditionally overlooked children’s needs and experiences in a disaster, along with their role in disaster preparedness education and training. Scholars and professionals have also failed to explore further the importance of youth disaster education programs and their particular impact and effectiveness on shaping children’s perceptions of what to do in a disaster event. According to Anderson (2005), disaster research on children has been severely lacking because children do not carry out research themselves or set a research agenda. In addition to the lack of disaster research and scholarship, there is less of a focus in the practice of disaster preparedness for children as compared to adults, as emergency managers and practitioners have neglected to pay special attention to youth regarding education and training programs. According to Ronan and Johnston (2001b), even though hazard education programs are relatively widespread, published research on their effectiveness is virtually nonexistent. Additionally, children are not placed on par with adults; even though State and local emergency managers are required to address the needs of pets in their emergency plans, they are not required to meet the needs of children in those same plans. Therefore, it is evident and imperative that more action be undertaken to ensure the proper education of children so that they are aware of what to do in the event of any disaster, regardless of its magnitude and scale. Recognizing the need for research to evaluate the current state of disaster preparedness education and research regarding youth and children, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) commissioned a review of the literature related to emergency preparedness education for youth. The objectives of this review were two-fold: 1. To identify research and evaluations of youth education interventions for emergency preparedness; and 2. To use the findings to develop recommendations that can be used to assess current programs and to enhance the provision of youth preparedness education programs.

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