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Preparing children for disasters: Evaluation of the Ready and Resilient program

Natasha Blanchet-Cohen, PhD, Rebeccah Nelems, MA


This article demonstrates the value of integrating psychosocial programs for children and youth within emergency management responses, particularly in the context of natural disasters. This article presents the main findings of an evaluation of the Ready and Resilient (R&R) program, an interactive 1-hour workshop delivered to children living in disaster-prone areas, developed by Save the Children in response to the growing number of natural disasters in the United States. Beyond the collection of qualitative data, which included in-person interviews and a survey of adult observers, evaluation data are based on the results of a survey questionnaire administered to participants after the R&R workshop.The survey was administered in New Orleans summer camps to 305 participants. The total number of survey respondents supports a confidence level of 95 percent and a confidence interval of 5.33. Evaluation results show the workshop is meeting a significant need, including children who have experienced disaster in the past. Participants felt more prepared for disasters, equipped with new information, skills, strategies, and evacuationrelated tools. This notwithstanding, 55.4 percent of participants stated that they felt at least “somewhat” more worried about disasters since the workshop, suggesting the need for follow-up support to participants. The authors also identify the need for future research on long-term impacts, while realizing this is a challenge for research in emergency contexts.


children, disaster preparedness, interactive workshop, evaluation

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