Pupils from Glen Park Primary School at a lecture entitled 'Why do Volcano's Errupt?' held as part of National Science Week.

Be prepared for natural disasters

In terms of confronting natural calamities, it makes economic sense to invest in preparedness. This has led to global, national and local organisations placing a greater emphasis on prevention and enhancing the readiness of vulnerable communities so that they are more resilient. 

Building resilience to natural hazards, however, is a complex issue. It requires a holistic approach encompassing not just knowledge about the natural hazard but the socio-economics, infrastructure, governance and culture of a community that is affected. 

It will require new inter-disciplinary research and the recognition of the importance of engaging with local stakeholders to understand what knowledge is required and how that knowledge can be implemented to design solutions.

Education and communication are vital

Education and communication play a vital role in improving resilience of vulnerable populations at risk from natural disasters. 

Conventionally, such awareness-raising activities are delivered through leaflets, posters, presentations, maps, TV and radio broadcasts, but an emerging challenge is to better engage with a new generation of learners – the so-called Net-Generation or Net-Gen, who are accustomed to a digital age in which information, news and entertainment are obtained instantaneously and delivered directly to them on a personal device (e.g. mobile phones, tablets and laptops).

A car in lava