Youth Involvement in Disaster Management

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  • Topic: Emergency management, Emergency service, Community Emergency Response Team
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  • Published : December 9, 2010
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Running Head: Youth Involvement in Disaster

Akeyo, S. 1

The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA)

Youth Involvement in Disaster Management

Presentation Paper for the Youth Session at The 5th Annual Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management At the Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, Jamaica

By

Stephen O. Akeyo, MA, MSA, Ph.D. Student Indiana University, Indiana- USA

December 9, 2010.

Running Head: Youth Involvement in Disaster Outline I. II. III. IV. V. Abstract Introduction Current Issues Analysis How I look at the Necessity of Youth Involvement Justification for Involving Youth People a. Fostering a sense of local ownership b. Promoting Individual’s right c. Hand-on Experiences VI. Lesson Learned a. Previous Account of Youth Involvement b. What is being done to address Youth Involvement VII. Recommendations for Good Practices 1. Education and Information sharing 2. Tabletop and Drills Exercises 3. Supporting Youth Programs 4. Youth Direct Research Involvement a. Service-Learning Experience i. Being Disaster Ready ii. Community Service 5. Ongoing Research Study VIII. IX. Conclusion References

Akeyo, S. 2

Running Head: Youth Involvement in Disaster I. Abstract

Akeyo, S. 3

Can young people perform well when they are involved in disaster preparedness and planning roles? Social norms have often failed to incorporate youth in leadership roles and decision making process even during emergency situations. Sadly, when a disaster strikes in any given community, youth and children are found to represent more than a third of disaster victims, yet their response role in a disaster is generally restricted to that of passive victims. The tremendous contributions that young people can make to disaster management are largely untapped. Involving young people in disaster management can help them learn topics that affect their lives while at the same time gaining hands-on experience designed to equip them become tomorrow better leaders. Any comprehensive disaster management that is designed to incorporate youth in its programs, not only benefits creativity and energy of young people but also in the process strengthens partnerships for resilience. This paper will address current issues affecting disaster management, the role of youth in disaster management, experience and lessons learned from organizations “such as; the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; the 2004 Tsunami disaster that impacted the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia; the 2006 Katrina disaster in New Orleans – U.S.A; and Plan International case study in El-Salvador. This paper will recommend youth involvement in their own community disaster management activities such as table-top exercise tailored into identifying risks; designing community emergency plans as well as their own; exercising a plan; setting up early warning systems; and implementing response; mitigation; and risk reduction plans. Conference participant will be challenged to adopt best practices and be encouraged to conduct further research study and platforms designed to foster youth-adult partnerships for resilience.

Running Head: Youth Involvement in Disaster II. Introduction

Akeyo, S. 4

Disasters and emergencies such as fires; severe weather; tornadoes; earthquakes; floods; pandemic event; life threatening situation; equipment failure; a cyber-attack or a terrorist attack can strike anywhere at any time with little or no warning. Such disasters and emergencies come with no respect of geographical or national boarders and never occur at convenient times. All emergencies are “local” phenomenon of which young people and children are a part of. Young people and children must therefore be prepared and trained in all matters pertaining to disaster response. They can use this knowledge to save their own lives and even defend their communities’ livelihood. The world population statistic projection given on World Youth...
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