chapter  10
Critical Reflections on Disaster Prevention Education
ByMARLA PETAL
Pages 20

This chapter provides a critique of the most common approaches to disaster risk reduction education. It draws from theories of empowerment, inquiry-based learning, factor analysis, and content analysis to propose a “framework for disaster prevention education” intended to be a scaffold for effective public education. The framework links micro-, macro-, and mesolevel interventions across three spheres of action: assessment and planning, physical and environmental protection (mitigation), and response-capacity development (preparedness). This is to allow social mobilizers to link personal, social, and political change, and thereby successfully promote the extensive mobilization needed to reduce human suffering from disasters both large and small. It rests on the understanding that because disasters are not inherently natural but involve enormous factors of human causality, they can be largely ameliorated by mitigation, and that response capacity is to fill the gaps to address residual and unforeseen risks. Initial indications of the value of the framework for promoting household and family disaster preparedness, and even school disaster management, are promising, though impact testing remains a challenge to be addressed over time.