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Development and Expansion of Disaster Education at Elementary and Junior High Schools in Niihama City

Elementary and junior high schools in Niihama City, which were heavily hit by typhoon-related disasters over three continuous months in the 2004, can function as platforms for working in collaboration with the Education Council of Niihama City, Community Disaster Groups, and various community groups and non-profit organizations. Ehime University conducted various activities, including an integrated approach to disaster education for the purpose of developing a disaster education system that could contribute to forming a national model for disaster-resilient cities. At the same time, the disaster education model was replicated in various cities and towns in Ehime Prefecture.

In particular, activities include the publication of a supplementary disaster book for students in upper elementary grades and junior high school; preparation of storytelling picture cards based on eBousai 88 Waf (i.e., 88 Tales of Disaster Experience in Shikoku) and storytelling activities; planning and implementation of integrated disaster drill programs involving elementary school children and the local residents; and planning/implementation of essay competition programs based on the eBousai 88 Waf. A special council was established for the purpose of implementing these activities and named a Disaster Education Promotion Council, which helped develop educational materials and curricula incorporating scientific aspects of and research findings in disaster prevention. In addition, activity-based research findings were presented during various report meetings targeting community groups, which largely helped return local disaster information to communities.