Earthquake Preparedness in Schools of Islamabad
Background: Pakistan is located in the Himalayan region, which has the highest vulnerability to earthquakes. The Islamabad-Rawalpindi area lies in a tectonically active zone, where earthquakes have been frequent in the recent geological past. Earthquake preparedness in schools is relatively under studied area in Pakistan. The objective of this study was to determine the level of preparedness of schools for earthquakes and to compare it between urban and rural, government and private schools in Islamabad Capital Territory.
Material and Methods: It was a cross-sectional comparative study. The study population was schools of Islamabad Capital Territory. The total sample size was 74 and non-probability purposive sampling technique was used. Data was collected through a structured questionnaire pretested on 5% of the sample size and respondents were administrative staff of schools. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 21. Data of the categorical variables was presented in the form of frequencies (percentages). Statistical significance of association between school profile and level of preparedness was determined by using bivariate tabular association analysis (Chi square).
Results: Out of 74 schools, 61 were private and 14 were government schools. 46 schools were located in urban areas while 28 were in rural area of Islamabad Capital Territory. Out of the total schools, 66.2% had written preparedness plan for earthquake and 73% of the schools had a safety committee to lead disaster response planning. Most of the schools (82.4%) had minimum of two exits in high occupancy rooms. There was significant association of location of school with preparedness plan for earthquake (p=0.009), and type of school with two evacuation drills annually (p=0.03).
Conclusion: Private schools and those located in urban areas are better prepared for earthquakes as compared to government schools and the ones located in rural areas.
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