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Towards tsunami-safer schools in the Wellington region of New Zealand: Evaluating drills and awareness programs
journal contributionposted on 27.07.2018, 00:00 by D Johnston, R Tarrant, K Tipler, E Lambie, M Crawford, V Johnson, J Becker, Kevin Ronan
The Wellington region of New Zealand is exposed to a wide range of potentially damaging impacts from various hazard events (e.g. earthquakes, tsunami, storms and floods). Wellington is situated in one of the most active seismic regions in New Zealand, creating a significant earthquake and tsunami risk. Given the variety of hazards Wellington faces, consideration needs to be given to how the risks are managed within schools. The purpose of the present study was to investigate tsunami preparedness activities undertaken in schools in the region in association with the New Zealand ‘ShakeOut’ exercise. In November 2015, a survey was carried out in 17 schools from several Wellington tsunami evacuation zones. Results revealed that the sample schools had undertaken at least some tsunami preparedness activities, and some schools reported formal planning, and practice-drills. Importantly however, not all at-risk schools are fully prepared for a tsunami; one of the greatest life-safety risks for students attending school within the Wellington tsunami inundation zones. It is expected that results of the present study will help inform school-based tsunami preparedness guidelines for New Zealand schools.