The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between participation in hazard education programs and levels of hazard awareness, risk perceptions, knowledge of response‐related protective behaviour and household preparedness.
A questionnaire examining various measures including participation in hazard education programmes, risk perceptions and household preparedness was delivered under teacher guidance to high school students in three different locations in the Taranaki Region of New Zealand. A total of 282 valid questionnaires were returned. Data were analysed by means of chi‐squared, t‐test and ANOVA.
Students who have participated in hazard education programmes are more likely to have better knowledge of safety behaviours and higher household preparedness. However, even with hazard education, some aspects of hazard awareness and the uptake of family emergency plans and practices were found to be poor. Overall, hazard education was found to be beneficial and helps to create potentially more‐resilient children and communities.
The research is limited to the views of the students. The study would benefit from a parallel study of parents or caregivers to give a more accurate report of household preparedness and family emergency plans and practices. The research highlights areas of change for future hazard education programmes and provides support for the continued inclusion of this topic in the curriculum.
The paper offers insight into the effectiveness and benefit of incorporating hazard education into the school curriculum in New Zealand.
Finnis, K.K., Johnston, D.M., Ronan, K.R. and White, J.D. (2010), "Hazard perceptions and preparedness of Taranaki youth", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 175-184. https://doi.org/10.1108/09653561011037986Download as .RIS
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