In Europe, according to the Emergency Database of Disasters (EMDAT), the number of natural disasters reported increased from 43 in the period 1974-1978 to 288 between 1999 and 2003. All the agencies working on monitoring climate change agree that, in the future, such consequences will intensify as the weather and temperatures become more extreme.
The impact of natural disasters on the European population will involve material damage and economic loss but may also result in casualties (death and injuries) and will invariably cause psychological distress. However, such impacts can be mitigated through the education of individuals, communities, and disaster responders on three levels: prevention, preparedness and response to natural disasters.
In this context, the project “e-Learning for the Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Natural Disasters” has been created to address the need for education and training on natural disasters. It is a joint initiative of Frederikssund-Halsnæs Fire & Rescue Service (Denmark) in partnership with:
- Colegiul National "Vasile Goldis“ Arad, a primary and secondary school from Romania.
- Lohusuu Kool, a primary and lower secondary school from Estonia.
- Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, a fire and rescue service from the United Kingdom.
- Vilniaus Apskrities Priesgaisrine Gelbejimo Valdyba, a fire and rescue board from Lithuania.
- Ayuntamiento de Alcalá de Guadaíra, a city council from Spain.
During the next two years the six organisations will work on developing four e-learning modules: one for primary school children, one for secondary school students, one for adults and one for fire and rescue services.
Each e-learning module will be tailored to the specific needs of its target group and will cover the prevention, preparedness and response to four types of natural disasters: floods, storms, heat waves and wildfires.
Once finalised, the e-learning modules will be made available, in six European languages (Danish, English, Estonian, Lithuanian, Romanian and Spanish), on the e-learning platform created for this purpose.
This cross-sectoral and cross-border partnership is co-funded by the European Commission within the framework of the Erasmus + Programme.