Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response Unit Training Cell of EduCARE India’s Centre for Environment, Helth and Safety is organising at site and community outreach trainings for disaster and Emergency Response Preparedness since 2019.
Disaster and Emergency Response Preparedness for health workers
The call for disaster preparedness training needs to be reinforced. ASHA Workers and Nurses form the largest group of the healthcare workforce and are often on the frontline in disaster management in India. Therefore, they should be adequately equipped with the knowledge and skills to respond to disasters during their in-service professional training.
Disaster and Emergency Response preparedness for Youth Volunteers
A cadre of al teast 10-15 volunteers per panchayat for effective disaster risk reduction and to train the Youth volunteers in life saving skills of medical first aid and search and rescue is being organised since late 2019 on creation of Task Force of Youth Volunteers for “Better Disaster Preparedness and Response”.
Under this scheme the aim is to attract talented youth to act as a volunteer and spare his/her valuable time to undergo the relevant training courses. The duration of residential training for these volunteers at our facilities on search and rescue and medical first aid is for three days.
Disaster preparedness for older people – Preparing Elderly People and Aged for Emergencies and Disasters (PrepAGED)
As part of the PrepAGED project, a comprehensive disaster preparedness training outreach plan and strategy aimed at the elderly population is underway. The project-wide objective is to introduce special requirements for older people into emergency and disaster preparedness and prevention programmes.
The lead organisation of the PrepAGED project is EduCARE India and it is implementing the project in partnership with the Maple Leaf Hospital Centre for Geriatrics and Eldercare and the Red Cross Society.
The PrepAGE project has been developed to identify the needs, structures and measures to find out how to prepare and reach the target group of older people in cases of emergencies and disasters. The project also takes into account the resources and resilience of older people, bringing together experts from the health and social sectors and the field of disaster management.
“While some guidelines exist on special requirements for older people in disasters, the integration of their needs into emergency and disaster preparedness programmes remains insufficient in many a regions. In the face of ageing populations and increased disaster risks, this issue is becoming increasingly important.
Enhancing disaster preparedness among older people
Various training activities will be targeted mainly at the elderly. Activities aimed to empower older people with the right tools to be resilient, at home and outdoors. An evacuation training has taken place in some select community settings, including an elderly care; home with elderly people suffering from dementia, mental or physical disorders.
At the training, several other experts participate as observers and discussion partners that includes EduCARE India and Red Cross volunteers, government officials, firefighters, police representatives, and representatives from the welfare department..
After the practical part of the training, everyone will get an opportunity to observe demonstrations of using fire extinguishers and to learn First Aid skills.
The events usually conclude with an evaluation discussion, where delegates from all participating institutions give their opinions and conclusions on how rescue plans can be improved, especially for seniors and people with special needs.
“It is important that residents and staff of Social Care centers are ready to act in the case of possible emergency situations. The implementation process of the evacuation training showed that all parties are ready for the cooperation. However, these trainings have a high value for developing the skills necessary, and should be carried out more frequently. Moreover, using the results of similar projects is essential to increasing understanding and collaboration, which helps to guarantee the sustainability of the knowledge acquired, ”
The experiences gathered will be published as a guide to inform practice in this area. Also, policy recommendations will be compiled on the basis of Regional and Local workshops.