Resource Page for School Natural Hazard Vulnerability Reduction


Natural Hazards Project Homepage Main School Vulnerability Reduction Page Profile: NHP School Vulnerability Reduction Hemispheric Action Plan for Vulnerability Reduction in the Education Sector Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project  Technical Documents, Links and Contacts For More Information...




School buildings often have multiple purposes in a community. In addition to their role as learning centers, they often serve as gathering places for community events and fundraisers, meeting places for clubs and religious organizations, repositories for books and other technical equipment, and public shelters in emergency situations. When a school building is vulnerable to natural hazards the welfare of the entire community is at risk.

The vulnerability of school facilities must not be seen only in terms of the need to prevent catastrophic damages that may destroy the buildings. It is also necessary to prevent lesser damages that may affect the continuity of services these facilities provide. Only recently has it been recognized that damages to school infrastructure caused by natural events are directly related to a reduction in school hours, and consequently, to a decrease in the quality of education.

The Natural Hazards Project of the OAS has been working in Latin America and the Caribbean to reduce the vulnerability of school buildings to natural disasters by strengthening local institutions and resources and promoting cooperation among government ministries, non-governmental organizations, community groups, and the private sector. Outcomes of efforts in this sector include: the creation of school building vulnerability profiles, national plans to reduce the vulnerability of schools buildings to natural disasters, and school building maintenance plans.