Information and Awareness Campaign
Topic of the practice
Public education and awareness of forest fires
Good Practice Information
The specific objectives of public education and awareness campaigns include:
• To provide the public and high-risk population groups with the knowledge to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from wildfires in their region.
• To help civil protection authorities make better fire management decisions.
The initiative - Awareness Day (Mountain Union of Laga, Italy) - takes place in one or more days, usually around the end of spring or fall, in the main square of the town. It involves public awareness activities such as demonstrations of equipment and vehicles, presentations about wildfire prevention and response. Guided visit tours are organized by fire services for schools and groups of citizens. These activities also include demonstrations of fire fighting vehicles and equipment, as well as videos and specialized movies.
Although public education activities generally target the entire population, special target groups are selected to ensure prioritized dissemination. Selection of target groups may be based on the location of a community in a high risk zone, its accessibility in the event of a fire, its disaster history and its local resources. Once the priority communities have been identified, specific strategies can be developed for addressing them.
Evidence of success
It has received positive and encouraging feedback from the project beneficiaries. It is noteworthy that the students answer that they like the natural environment in a burnt forest, which supports program objectives. Children demonstrate a high drive for acquisition and maintenance of knowledge about emergency preparedness. They need to be emphasized that emergencies can happen to anyone and what measures they can take to protect themselves and others. Teachers are able to introduce concepts of emergency and self-help by relating the content of the classes to the children’s everyday life, while giving priority to hazards that are more likely to occur at home or at school. Public education initiatives are high impact activities. They target effectively a large percentage of the population and produce important numbers of information dissemination media, such as leaflets and/or multimedia.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Mr. Gino VEROCCHI
Mountain Union of Laga - M Zone
Annex completed on: 02-09-2011