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Preparedness

Long-term solutions to be safer from disasters are never purely technical. It's equally important to inspire safer practices. Disaster preparedness starts with understanding what could go wrong and how proactive steps could prevent tragedies. Families can develop emergency plans and “go bags.” Schoolchildren can practice with drills. Medical staff can think through how they will manage during crises.

 

To motivate action, we work with communities to communicate information that is clear, relevant to daily life and actionable. Our messaging is science-based and considers the local context.

 

Projects

Timoun an Aksyon (Kids in Action)

Cap-Haitien, Haiti

In their own voice and style, youth share new knowledge about extreme earthquake and coastal risks and how to take action for disaster resilience.

Disaster Preparedness for Schools in Turkey

Turkey

This innovative online disaster awareness curriculum, including self-study and teacher training, scaled nationwide and reached remote corners of Turkey.

Kathmandu Priority Hospitals Seismic Assessment

Kathmandu, Nepal

Prioritized short and long-term changes to improve post-disaster function of hospitals that provide critical medical services for a large number of people.

Hospital Disaster Planning, Preparedness and Training

Bhutan

Emergency planning and realistic disaster simulations for staff at hospitals in Bhutan, plus mitigations to keep the facilities functioning post disaster.

Reducing Extreme Landslide and Seismic Risk in Aizawl

Aizawl, India

A detailed scenario process engaged leaders and technical professionals in India’s most populous hill city to understand, assess and mitigate Aizawl’s very high risk of landslides and earthquakes.

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“In managing responses to fires, floods, and earthquakes in California and the Pacific, I have seen lives shattered, families separated, and neighborhoods turned to rubble. This experience taught me that human suffering can be greatly lessened through measures we already know and understand.”

Shirley Mattingly

Former Director, Region IX U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency

 

News

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"In working with GHI on Quito’s earthquake risk, I learned that engineers and scientists must work with the community’s politicians, emergency response personnel, and businessmen.”

Jeannette Fernandez

Former Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito, Ecuador; Recovery Specialist, United Nations Development Programme

 

Publications

  • Tsunami Preparedness Guidebook

    A comprehensive guide for people (concerned citizens, government officials, staff at I/NGOs) who want to organize, educate, and lead local tsunami preparedness campaigns. Compiles earth science, social science and emergency planning information for non-technical people.

  • A Culture at Risk: An Initial Assessment of Seismic Vulnerabilities in Upper Dharamsala, India

    Earthquake vulnerabilities endanger the Tibetan community’s efforts to preserve its cultural heritage in Dharamsala. Recommended improvements to protect the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA) and other structures.

    Resources:

    An Initial Assessment of Seismic Vulnerabilities in Upper Dharamsala, India

  • Background Papers and Supplementary Technical Information: Guidance on Developing Messages for Protective Actions to Take During Earthquake Shaking

    1. Epidemiology of Deaths and Earthquake Injuries, 2. Protective Action in Immediate Fuse Events: a Literature Review, 3. Designing Risk Communication Programs to Promote Adaptive Human Behavior During Earthquakes and Tsunamis, 4. On the Nature of Strong Ground Motions during Damaging Earthquakes, 5. Understanding and Mitigating Building Collapses​, 6. Public perceptions of protective action, survey in three countries, 7. Summary of discussions with an international group of disaster messaging professionals

    Resources:

    Background Papers and Supplementary Technical Information

  • Protective Actions Implementation Workbook

    This workbook can be used to implement a messaging program about what to do during earthquake shaking given the local risk, building types, and other factors.

    Resources:

    Protective Actions: Implementation Workbook

  • Guidance on Developing Messages for Protective Actions to Take During Earthquake Shaking

    What people should do during earthquake shaking, to protect themselves from injury or death? It depends. Evidence-based guidance describes a process and key considerations for creating effective messages for different contexts.

  • School Earthquake Safety and Preparedness – Course Materials developed for India

  • Non-structural Risk Reduction Handbook for Schools

    This guide explains how to prepare schools before an earthquake, to avoid significant injuries or blocked exits that result when unsecured objects fall during shaking.

    Resources

    Non Structural Risk Reduction Handbook for Schools


  • Reducing Earthquake Risks in Hospitals from Equipment, Contents, Architectural Elements and Building Utility Systems

    Shows how to equip hospitals to function in a disaster: plan for backup utilities, find and mitigate vulnerabilities in the buildings, and secure objects that could topple and cause injuries in an earthquake. Intended for hospital administrators, engineers, and maintenance staff. 

    Resources