Disaster Preparedness in the Community
Launched by the United Nations, the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) has been held on 13 October since 2009 to call for global attention to the risks posed by different disasters as well as raising awareness of disaster management. The Hong Kong Red Cross (HKRC) has been committed to providing disaster preparedness education to the public. In recent years, we have reached the community by organizing different types of roving exhibitions to deliver disaster preparedness knowledge to the public with fun and enhance their capability of emergency response. Furthermore, on last year’s IDDR, the HKRC launched the city’s first-of-its-kind one-stop disaster preparedness mobile application “RCDP”, so that the public can access the latest news and knowledge on disasters and emergencies anytime.
Comprehensive Disaster Preparedness Activities
This October, the HKRC organized a one-month “International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2019: A Closer Look at Disaster Preparedness” activity at the lobby of the Headquarters building. It allowed the public to get more information and knowledge about disaster prevention and preparedness, first aid and community health through various games: the “First Aid in a Minute” activity provided participants with simple and practical first aid knowledge and tips, which are useful in case of an accident; the “Wearing Mask Properly” and “Escape from Fire” games allowed the participants to learn the correct way of wearing masks and how to plan a fire evacuation route. Apart from the games, we invited students from Sik Sik Yuen’s primary and secondary schools, as well as our special schools to design a disaster kit with environmental friendly materials. Their designs were showcased at the lobby to raise public awareness of disaster preparedness.
This year, the HKRC also introduced three newly-developed disaster preparedness virtual reality (VR) games, which resemble the real-life situations. The games simulated earthquakes, floods and the spread of infectious diseases, giving the public an opportunity to experience “personally” the tension and threats brought by the disasters, and thus raise their awareness of crisis. The games provide both Chinese and English versions with voice navigation to instruct participants to complete the tasks, so they can learn from the games and equip themselves with disaster preparedness knowledge.
Learning Disaster Preparedness through Experience
In order to further promote disaster preparedness in school, the HKRC visited S.K.H. St. Mary’s Church Mok Hing Yiu College on 6 November to let the students try their hands on the VR games. After their experience, students Cheung Ko-yiu and Liu Wing-lam thought the games were both fun and practical. Ko-yiu said, “I have never experienced flooding in my life. This game allowed me to learn how to respond to the disaster.” Wing-lam learned about the importance of a disaster kit from the games, “I came to learn how to prepare a disaster kit which includes a towel and a small amount of food in case of emergency.” Both of them said that they would share their disaster preparedness knowledge with their families so that they would be better prepared when a disaster occurred.