International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Andrea Vásquez, a, b; Katitza Marinkovic, c; Margarita Bernales, d; Jorge León, a, e; Juan González, a, f; Sebastián Castro, a.
a National Research Center for Integrated Natural Disaster Management CIGIDEN, Fondap 15110017, School of Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
b School of Geosciences, The University of Edinburgh, UK
c School of Global and Population Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
d Programa de Estudios Sociales en Salud, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad del Desarrollo Chile, Chile
e Department of Architecture, Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, Valparaíso, Chile
f Department of Geological Sciences, Universidad Catolica del Norte, Antofagasta, Chile
Introduction and purpose of this study: Colegio Ingles is the largest and oldest school in the city of Iquique, the capital of Chile's northern Tarapaca Region. In accordance with the School Evacuation Plan, a drill was held in 2013 with the entire student body (n = 1600). The majority of the students had experienced the 2014 Pisagua earthquake.
Considering the school's exposure to natural disasters and the experience of its students, we studied the perspectives of k-12 students relative to their school's evacuation plan for a major disaster, such as an earthquake and a tsunami.
Materials and methods: The study applied a qualitative methodology for in-depth exploration and insight into the students’ perceptions of the school evacuation plan. The methods applied were: (i) focus groups and (ii) individual mapping exercises. The participants recruited (n = 31), included children between the ages of 11 and 18 years old. The collected information was analyzed through a thematic analysis using NVivo 11 software.
Results: The results flagged significant issues that had not been considered during the development of the school evacuation plan, such as the family dimension, which in some cases is contradictory with the school evacuation plan, as well as the need of redefining the safe zones from a multidimensional perspective.
Conclusions: More participation from children in the local planning of the school evacuation plan was seen as necessary in order to strengthen their preparedness in case of disaster, integrating their school evacuation plan and their family ones.