DRH-Asia: Disaster Reduction Hyperbase
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1. Title

Earthquake Risk Reduction and Education

ID: DRH 25
Hazard: Earthquake

Process Technology (PT) , Transferable indigenous knowledge (TIK)

Proposer: Farokh Parsizadeh
Date posted: 07 February 2008
Date published: 01 December 2008
Copyright © 2008 Farokh Parsizadeh (proposer). All rights reserved.

"Earthquake and Safety" Drills


Mr. Farokh Parsizadeh (Research Associate)
Mr. Mohsen-Ghafory Ashtiany ( Distinguished Professor)
International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES)
26 Arghavan St., N. Dibajie, Farmanieh
Tehran, I.R.Iran
Tel: 0098 21 22294932; Email: parsi@iiees.ac.ir

2. Major significance / Summary

・ Children represent the future
・ Schools have post・disaster roles as shelters and relief centers
・ Important role in development
・ Act as a catalyst to bind the community
・ Provides confidence in the community
・ Promotes safety culture
・ Ensure leadership among future generations.

3. Keywords

Disasters, Education, Risk, Earthquakes

II. Categories

4. Focus of this information

Process Technology (PT) , Transferable indigenous knowledge (TIK)

5. Users

5-1. Anticipated users: Community leaders (voluntary base) , Administrative officers , Municipalities , National governments and other intermediate government bodies (state, prefecture, district, etc.) , NGO/NPO project managers and staff , International organizations (UN organizations and programmes, WB, ADRC, EC, etc.) , Financing and insurance business personnel , Experts , Teachers and educators , Others

5-2. Other users: Policy makers , Motivated researchers , Local residents

6. Hazards focused


7. Elements at risk

Human lives , Human networks in local communities

III. Contact Information

8. Proposer(s) information (Writer of this template)

Mr. Farokh Parsizadeh (Research Associate)
Mr. Mohsen-Ghafory Ashtiany ( Distinguished Professor)
International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES)
26 Arghavan St., N. Dibajie, Farmanieh
Tehran, I.R.Iran
Tel: 0098 21 22294932; Email: parsi@iiees.ac.ir

9. Country(ies)/region(s) where the technology/knowledge/practice originated


10. Names and institutions of technology/knowledge developers

International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES)

Vida Heshmati, IIEES, Heshmati@iiees.ac.ir
Ali Ehsaan Seif, IIEES, seif@iiees.ac.ir
Yasamin O. Izadkhah, IIEES, izad@iiees.ac.ir

11. Title of relevant projects if any

12. References and publications

Planning Guides for Preparedness Before, During, and After an Earthquake, Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Seismology and Earthquake Engineering (SEE-2), May 1995.Y.O. Izadkhah and, F. Parsizadeh

Guideline on Earthquake and Safety for Kindergarten Teachers (English-2007) F.Parsizadeh, Y.O.Izadkhah, V.Heshmati.

What we should know about Earthquakes (Pesian-2005) F.Parsizadeh, P.Fatemi.

Earthquake and Safety (Persian-2004) F.Parsizadeh, A.E.Seif,V.Heshmati.

Earthquake and Safety Councils in Schools (Persian-2004) F.Parsizadeh, A.E.Seif.

Earthquake and Safety Guideline for Kindergarten Instructors (Persian-2004) F.Parsizadeh, V.Heshmati.

Guideline on National Earthquake & Safety Drill for Schools Administrators (Persian since 2001). F.Parsizadeh, A.E.Seif.

13. Note on ownership if any


IV. Background

14. Disaster events and/or societal circumstances, which became the driving force either for developing the technology/knowledge or enhancing its practice

 Iran, being in one of the most active tectonic regions of the world, faces high seismic hazard. The country has experienced many devastating earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.0 or more throughout its history. After the Manjil-Rudbar Earthquake of June 1990 and during IDNDR, there has been considerable effort in Iran, nationally and internationally to develop effective public awareness and education for different levels of the society. The comprehensive earthquake risk reduction programme in Iran was launched in 1991. Along with the improvement of new methods for design and construction of structures, earthquake education has developed and grown as another effective activity.

 In this regard, educating the children, as the future of any community at risk, can be regarded as an effective strategy to communicate safety messages to the entire community. In other words, educating the children serves to disseminate vital information to most of the population via the knowledge, skills and enthusiastic motivation of children. The children convey messages throughout society, starting with their parents. Consequently, schools play a major role in the development of disaster-aware citizens. It is proposed that children can act as a key factor in the promotion of safety culture, leading to disaster prevention and risk reduction.

V. Description

15. Feature and attribute

 The main objective is to initiate a series of activities to protect people from the impacts of future earthquakes.


- Development and implementation of a comprehensive program addressing all groups of the society. - Increasing public awareness and preparedness using all types of media. - Educating children and youngsters about earthquake preparedness at all school levels by including materials in textbooks, films, conducting drills, exhibitions, drawing and writing competitions, posters, etc. - Conducting annual national drill in schools on November 8th. - Organizing annual art, painting and training exhibitions.

-Strengthening the key role of women in hazard mitigation programs and promotion of seismic safety culture.

16. Necessary process to implement

 In order to update the teacher’s information, there is on-the-job training, for teachers as well as administrative staff. Materials including scientific definitions of earth and the related science, earthquake preparedness, and the national drills have been taught. These classes are in two participatory and non-participatory sections. In participatory section, the face to face method is used by the instructors. In non-participatory sessions, the teachers use books. They will then be tested in a specific date through an exam. It is worth to mention that the sources for these materials is produced by the IIEES and is distributed through Ministry of Education.

  In order to increase the public awareness and teaching on national drills, the TV short announcements is conducted by IIEES and is broadcasted through national Radio and TV 10 days before the drills.

17. Strength and limitations

18. Lessons learned through implementation if any

VI. Resources required

19. Facilities and equipments required

1- Conducting guidelines The guideline is for schools’ administrators giving instructions on how to perform the national drill. The contents of this guidelines consists of: - The necessity of performing the drills - Drills objectives - Role of parents - Drill performance - Time of the drill - Necessary measures before and during drills This guideline is published in 150,000 copies and is sent to all schools.

2- Posters One of the ways to increase the public awareness is through posters. The poster should be designed in a way that it can transfer some visual information to the children as well as increase their awareness. The poster is published in 300,000 copies each year and every school receives two copies. 


3- Street billboards This is another media to help in increasing the public awareness and stimulating the society curiosity and interest about national drill, the seismic strengthening and the seismicity of the country.

4- Conducting films and short announcements One of the methods in teaching students is through educational films. The educational film related to national drill is conducted and produced by IIEES. Additionally, for public awareness and distributing more information on drills, short announcements are produced by IIEES and broadcasted from national Radio and TV channels. National Drill Permanent Council The strategy of drill performance is designed through the National Drill Permanent Council. This council consists of the representatives of Ministry of Education (with the full authority), Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, Ministry of Interior, The Red Crescent Society of Iran, and National TV and Radio. This council submits the projects to the planning committee after identifying the general policy for implementing them. It is worth mentioning that the permanent secretariat of this council is located in IIEES. Planning Committee This committee has to implement the approved issues of the National Drill Permanent Council after review. The members of this committee consists of: A representative from IIEES, 4 representatives from Ministry of Education, one representative from Tehran Ministry of Education, one representative from National TV and Radio, one representative from The Red Crescent Society of Iran, one representative from Ministry of Interior, and one representative from the Student Organization. Provincial Committee In order to approve the decisions in the whole country, a provincial committee is held in each province. This committee consists of the representative of the province (The head of unexpected events committees), the representative of National TV and Radio, the representative of the Red Crescent Society of Iran, and the representative of Ministry of Education. Their responsibilities are to accomplish an effective drill in their province.


20. Costs, organization, manpower, etc.

100,000 US Dollars

VII. Message from the proposer if any

21. Message

 1-The implemented public education programs in Iran have proven to be effective in raising the awareness of young generation toward earthquake safety and the valuable experiences can be applied in other countries as well.



2-Following is the response of the author to the DRH Facilitators' comments in the discussion screen. It is duplicated here with some illustrations added.

  1) Exam is a method to encourage teachers to update their knowledge about earthquakes and how to deal with it which would lead to a better understanding of risk and measures for reducing it. The questions for exams come from books which are published by IIEES.


  2) Earthquake risk education in general leads to an enhanced perception of risk, better understanding of protective measures and less fear of a hazard.  What is difficult to assess is how all this understanding is used during a disaster event. The question is posed: “Does this understanding really influence the children’s behaviour and consequently the behaviour of their family? The children’s knowledge and understanding of earthquakes does not guarantee that the knowledge will be appropriately applied when it is needed. Therefore the use of participatory methods as well as non-participatory was to test the example of the “knowledge-to-behaviour” relationship and their interrelation. In practice, behaviour is not always necessarily as expected and taught. Therefore, to achieve behavioural change, there is a need to incorporate appropriate knowledge into the culture of the target group for the current and future generations. In earthquake safety, both concepts of ‘how to do’ and ‘what to do’ needed. This is why there is a need for both participatory and non-participatory approaches. 

  3) All educational materials are prepared by IIEES by group of specialist consist of earth science, Structural engineering, social sciences and educationalist. 

  4) The textbooks material in various levels of the schools can be classified into the three categories as follows:a.     Scientific subjects on earth and earthquake:     Science books of 4th, 5th, 8th and 12th grade and Geography books of 8th and 10th grade cover scientific materials on the earth structure, continental movements, earthquake phenomenon, faults, seismicity, and seismic hazard. Considering that the geography books are regionally prepared, provides earthquake information related to the related province.  b.     Earthquake preparedness, response and recovery:     “Earthquake Preparedness” book for 8th and 9th grades and “Technology and Careers” book for the 8th grade covers materials on the most appropriate activities to be preformed before, during and after a damaging earthquake; as well as guideline for school preparedness and the first aids.c.     Technical and engineering aspects of safe building:How to build a safe and earthquake resistant building is being though in the construction major of the technical high schools. The curriculum and text book of this major has been modified in order to train construction technician aware and knowledgeable on building standards and criteria of a seismically safe building.  d. Social and cultural aspects of earthquake:      “Social Science” books of 3rd and 7th grades and “Persian Literature” book of the 8th grade look at earthquake from social and literature point of views with the aim of creating self confidence and proper social behavior at the time of earthquake. 

VIII. Self evaluation in relation to applicability

22. How do you evaluate the technology/knowledge that you have proposed?

It is a technology/knowledge that has high application potential verified by implementation in various field sites.

23. Notes on the applicability if any

IX. Application examples


    E1-1. Project name if available

    Conducting Earthquake Safety Council (Phase 1)

    E1-2. Place

    10 Secondary and High School in Tehran

    E1-3. Year


    E1-4. Investor

    E1-5. People involved

    10 staff

    E1-6. Monetary costs incurred

    35000 US Dollars

    E1-7. Total workload required

    1240 hours

    E1-8. Evidence of positive result


    E2-1. Project name if available

    Earthquake Safety Council (Phase 2)

    E2-2. Place

    20 Secondary and High School in Tehran

    E2-3. Year


    E2-4. Investor

    E2-5. People involved

    10 staff

    E2-6. Monetary costs incurred

    40000 US Dollars

    E2-7. Total workload required

    1240 hours

    E2-8. Evidence of positive result


    E3-1. Project name if available

    Earthquake Safety Network (Phase 3)

    E3-2. Place

    30 Secondary and High School in Tehran

    E3-3. Year


    E3-4. Investor

    E3-5. People involved

    10 staff

    E3-6. Monetary costs incurred

    30 million Toman (30000 US Dollars)

    E3-7. Total workload required

    1240 hours

    E3-8. Evidence of positive result

X. Other related parallel initiatives if any


XI. Remarks for version upgrade


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