Be Prepared

Helping communities be more prepared

Save the Children has been working in thousands of communities developing disaster preparedness strategies and plans.

Save the Children has been working across the Philippines on disaster preparedness and risk reduction for many years. Disaster preparedness plans can include simple ideas like ”grab bags” of essential items in case of evacuation, agreed evacuation routes, and meeting points in case of separation. They can also be more sophisticated full evacuation plans, used by schools or communities, including specific roles and responsibilities such as logistics, transportation, and asset protection.

Here are a few examples.

Child Focused Grab Bags

When families evacuate their homes, there is only so much that can be carried with them – and children may find themselves without basic items they need for survival. In Tacloban, we are distributing 5000 children’s grab bags that contain flashlights, personal ID tags, slippers, a whistle, an umbrella, and are inscribed with important safety messages. Children can also add their own personal items such as a change of clothing, toys, or bathing supplies. 

Are you prepared for an emergency?  Take our pledge to learn how.

Child-centred disaster risk reduction (DRR) in child friendly spaces

In an emergency situation, safe places for children to play, learn or meet with friends are few and far between. Save the Children’s Child Friendly Spaces provide children with protected environments in which they participate in organized activities to play, socialize, learn, and express themselves as their lives get back on track. In short, these spaces offer a place where kids can be kids.

In recovering from emergencies our Child Resilience activities aim to help children understand what has happened, and come to terms with normal reactions to abnormal situations. As part of this, child-centred DRR summer sessions help children understand the risks that they face. We often find that children want to act to address those risks, or learn what they can do to be more prepared for disasters. One initiative is our ‘Kids Stay Safe’ posters which we are developing to disseminate disaster risk safety messages in our child friendly spaces. These posters feature tips on how to stay informed as a crisis unfolds, ways to ensure adequate preparation, evacuation best practices (such as evacuate before a typhoon, but never during one), and how to stay safe during a disaster. 

At Save the Children’s workshops and DRR education programmes children learnt that putting their things into waterproof bags and tying them to tree tops or high above ground level helped reduce losses. Ideas such as these show the resilience and creativity of Filipino children!

Are you prepared for an emergency? Take our pledge to learn how.

Child-centred risk reduction and community resilience

Disaster risk reduction isn’t just about being prepared for disasters. Save the Children is working across the Philippines to support the resilience of children, families and communities in the face of increasing disasters and climate change. More resilient communities mean less disasters. Disaster preparedness springs into action when unpredictable or unprecedented large scale hazards such as earthquakes and typhoons like Yolanda hit our shores. 

Child-centred disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation is about understanding the unique needs and contributions of children in community safety and development. Children’s experience of disasters is very different to that of adults, and we can’t work to address it unless we understand it. Children also have a role to play in DRR. Carrying certain items or ensuring siblings stay together during evacuation; and setting priorities, understanding risks and taking specific appropriate actions for long term sustainable development of their communities are examples of children’s capacities. Participation must be age appropriate and promote safety and protection. It is also a central part of children’s wellbeing: children are drivers of change: Survivors, not victims.

Are you prepared for an emergency? Take our pledge to learn how.


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