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Earthquake Safe Communities in Nepal

Earthquake Orientation Program

Nepal is a highly seismic country and the history is full of earthquake disasters. Huge loss of life and property had occurred in series of earthquakes in the past and it is believed that next big earthquake is around the corner. Studies have shown that there will be heavy loss of life and property in the possible future earthquake in Kathmandu Valley alone. The problem of earthquake destruction can only be reduced through coordinated efforts of mitigation and preparedness. So, in this direction NSET is conducting orientation programs for earthquake safety for Embassies, Diplomatic missions, Aid agencies, INGOs, NGOs, Hospitals, Schools and even general masses to aware, enhance knowledge on earthquake safety. Usually this program is conducted by NSET upon request of the agencies or organization.

Earthquake Safety can not be achieved in developing countries unless we initiate a bottom-up approach in which house-owner and common people becomes aware, have basic ideas on earthquake preparedness and convinced on the need to make their residences safer against earthquake. This can be achieved only through a massive awareness raising program which NSET has developed and is implementing successfully.

The main objective of the program is to generate earthquake awareness among the people and the specific objectives are:

» To make the group aware about the earthquake risk of Nepal.
» To give the group basic know-how of earthquake preparedness i.e. what to do before, during and after an earthquake.
» To equip the group with basic ideas of how and what earthquake preparedness message to convey to the communities they are working with.

The topics covered in the program:
» Earthquake basics: The goal of this part is to make people aware about the impending earthquake risk in Nepal and the region and clarify myths about earthquake. It covers generation of earthquake, measurement of earthquake, earthquake risk in Nepal and region.
» Structural risk mitigation: The goal of this part is to give tips on earthquake safe and unsafe buildings. It covers, what makes a building weak or strong in general, and how to identify these weaknesses.
» Non-structural risk mitigation: this part covers how building contents could create a risk and how this risk can be mitigated. It covers different approach for non-structural risk mitigation.
» Preparedness: This part covers how to get ready for an earthquake. How to start planning, what should be the approach, where to intervene, what to do before, during and after an earthquake and at the same time it also discusses what not to do. This part also covers earthquake drill depending upon request from organizers.

The presentations vary slightly depending upon target group, and interest of audience. Usually, expatriates are more interested in preparedness whereas Nepali mass interested in earthquake safe building construction.

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