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Program for the Enhancement and Dissemination of Educational Support for Disaster Prevention Related to Storm and Flood Damage

We conducted scientific studies of mechanisms that cause storm and flood damage (storm surge and flood disasters), which are particularly characteristic of Yamaguchi Prefecture. The aim was to acquire a comprehensive understanding of the terrain and topography that is typical to this region, and raise a new self-awareness on the culture of disasters. To achieve this, the following work was commissioned and carried out:
1DCreation of teaching materials related to scientific and technological education for disaster prevention
A wide range of sources were utilized comprehensively, and teaching materials created to scientifically understand the importance of flood protection in normal times. These sources included an understanding of regional topography through the use of a balloon system of aerial photography; rainfall observation and analysis from regional disaster prevention geographic information; gathering of online weather information; watershed analysis utilizing digital national land information; a study of land use changes utilizing topographic maps, aerial photography, remote sensing images, flood hazard maps, and traces of past floods; and oral history from local residents.
2DDevelopment and implementation of a training curriculum for school teaching staff, etc.
To develop a scientific understanding of recent disaster prevention research, a training curriculum has been developed that was adapted to actual meteorological disasters facing Iwakuni and Ube Cities, with the goal of training leaders for practical disaster prevention education. This program was developed for the teaching staff of Iwakuni and Ube in the 2008 and 2009 school years, respectively. Lectures included: 'Natural disasters in Japan', 'Disaster prevention for children and students', 'A culture in harmony with natural disasters', 'Storm surge and flood disaster prevention research', 'Earth and sand disaster prevention research', and 'Government administration in times of disaster'. Furthermore, 'Evacuation and shelter activities in times of disaster' and 'The beneficial use of disaster prevention information' were implemented. At the local meteorological observatory, a 'Learn about the latest weather and seismic activity measuring mechanisms' event was organized. The training curriculum that was developed through this program was saved to a CD-R and distributed to the Yamaguchi Prefecture Board of Education and others, so that it could also be utilized in other regions.
3DDevelopment and implementation of a practical disaster prevention education program
Yamaguchi University utilized teaching materials relating to the scientific and technological education of disaster prevention that had been created in (1.), and implemented these classes at a variety of local schools. In the 2008 school year, these classes were conducted at Kuina Elementary School and Iwakuni-Nishi Junior High School in Iwakuni, and Mizome Elementary School and Kamihara Junior High School in Ube. In the 2009 school year, Kuina Elementary School in Iwakuni and Mizome Elementary School and Kamihara Junior High School in Ube conducted these classed. Following the implementation of the program, students were presented with a questionnaire, which confirmed that students/children were able to boost their scientific and technological understanding of flood disasters through this program.
4DImplementation of regional disaster prevention training in cooperation with local residents and government
Regional workshops were conducted with the purpose of returning the programfs outcomes to the community, at Iwakuni-Nishi Junior High School (Iwakuni City) and the Ube Working Youth Meeting Hall, in the 2008 and 2009 school years, respectively. Along with a program report related to separate themes of points (1.) and (3.), the regional workshop introduced the storm surge hazard map for Ube; history of storm surge disasters in the region; mechanisms by which these storm surge disasters occur; and measures for their prevention, in the 2009 school year. Furthermore, participants got the chance to play the 'Mizome Disaster Prevention Sugoroku' and 'Ube Flood Disaster Prevention Sugoroku' games. These were presented to elementary/ junior high schools and voluntary disaster prevention groups to make practical use the region's disaster prevention training. Through the above, and in addition to raising community awareness for regional flood disaster prevention, opinions and suggestions for the report were accepted with the aim of further enriching the programfs contents.