Active Learning and Disaster Risk Reduction: Playing the Game of Your Life

Active Learning and Disaster Risk Reduction: Playing the Game of Your Life

LaMesha Lashal Craft (Coastal Carolina University, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7727-0.ch008

Abstract

The author provides a robust discussion of an ethnographic case study to facilitate creative thinking about how to use communications and social media technology to build resilience and improve citizen disaster preparedness through a “Be Ready” trivia campaign. This research can inform strategies to achieve several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction's Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR). Future research directions include a new community resilience index that measures citizens' use of communications and social media technology. Implications for social change include raising the level of public awareness and facilitating a means to improve personal responsibility for disaster preparedness through low cost education programs. This could improve efforts by government and non-government organizations to improve disaster risk reduction; increase access to information and communication technology; increase disaster emergency planning and response; and build resilient communities.
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Introduction

Education is the foundation upon which we build our future. (Christine Gregoire)

It is with the future in mind that the author submits education is the key to international efforts to sustain mother earth, build a preferable future, and to grow as a human race. The future is plural (Bell, 1997; Dator, 2009; Sardar & Sweeney, 2016; Wallace-Wells, 2017) and given the pending state of climate and environmental change, it is imperative to provide tangible and achievable education tools that are applicable in local and global societies to demonstrate how individuals can prepare for large-scale man-made or natural disasters. As a career military intelligence professional, the author is trained to analyze the potential for future events to impact or threaten the current environment. Some threats are known yet poorly mitigated (black elephants) while others have not been considered as plausible threats to stability (black swans). Such preparation requires and eye towards the future and a pulse on real-world and relevant threats. In essence citizens, organizations, and government entities must think outside of the proverbial box to implement the most effective disaster risk reduction programs and ultimately prevent social disorganization and anomie before, during, or after disasters.

The objectives of this chapter are three-fold. First, the author discusses findings from an ethnographic case study titled Perceived Threats to Food Security and Possible Responses Following an Agro-terrorist Attack. The findings demonstrated how even in a community with high social capital and perceived community resilience, the lack of knowledge about emergency preparedness procedures, mismanaged expectations regarding relief, and failure to plan for unexpected yet plausible disasters can lead to social disorganization and anomie. Secondly, this research can facilitate more creative thinking about how to use communications and social media technology to build resilience and improve citizen disaster preparedness through a “Be Ready” trivia campaign. Thirdly, this research can inform strategies to achieve several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR). Specifically, the author submits that all of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are linked to SDG #4 (quality education), because without it improving society, building resilience to climate and environmental changeand creating a preferable future are impossible. The author’s recommendations include using an education program to achieve targets of SDG #3 (healthy lives and well-being); SDG #9 (building resilient infrastructure); SDG #11 (safe, inclusive, and resilient cities and human settlements), and SFDRR Priorities 2 and 3 (strengthen and invest in disaster risk reduction). Moreover, future research directions include the development of a new community resilience index and the development of questionnaires to leverage local community knowledge of community and faith-based organizations in developing countries where maintaining 72-hour emergency kits are not economically feasible.

Implications for social change include raising the level of public awareness and facilitating a means to improve personal responsibility for disaster preparedness through low cost education programs. This could improve efforts by government and non-government organizations to improve disaster risk reduction; increase access to information and communication technology; increase disaster emergency planning and response; and build resilient communities.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Community Competence: The collective aptitude of individuals to learn about their social environment and use the information to identify problems and establish consensus to collectively address the problems to meet the needs of the community.

Food Security: A state that exists when people, at all times, have the requisite physical and economic access to safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs for a healthy life.

Black Swan: An event (positive or negative) that is considered outside the realm of expectation but remains plausible and will have an extreme impact.

Agro-Terrorism: The deliberate attack of food and water supplies for the purpose of generating fear, causing economic losses or undermining social stability.

Community Resilience: The collective efforts of individuals within a community to resist, absorb, recover from, or successfully adapt to, adversity or change in conditions.

PACE Plan: In this chapter, an acronym and methodology to build well-constructed emergency/disaster preparedness plans that account for the unknowns and unexpected. PACE stands Primary, Alternate, Contingency, and Emergency. When establishing this plan, individuals account for additional courses of action when the primary is no longer an option.

Anomie: Social instability that occurs after societal bonds, common rules, standards, and values break down in society.

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