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Teaching Structural Hazards Awareness for Preparedness and Community Response
Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering (2004)
  • Marla A Petal
  • Utku Celep
  • Cüneyt TüZün
  • Rebekah Paci-Green
Most successful search and rescue is performed by neighbors and household members during the first 24 h after an earthquake, before professional responders arrive on the scene. Many spontaneous responders become casualties in the process. Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute's Disaster Preparedness Education Project with the support of the Earthquake Engineering Department has developed a training module for Community Disaster Responders to help them assess the level of damage for immediate citizen disaster response. Learning the signs of damage in both reinforced concrete and adobe buildings, they will be better able to distinguish the slight and moderately damaged buildings where their light search and rescue efforts will be effective, as opposed to the heavily damaged buildings where professional help is required for safe extrication. Incorporating citizens into the early stages of building collapse rescue is designed to make professional urban search and rescue efforts more effective. The program is being piloted in Turkey by the Civil Defense Directorate, Search and Rescue Brigade. It is expected that this will lead to a new demand for engineers to work in partnership with community-based organizations for planning and prioritizing disaster mitigation efforts, and to participate in immediate post-disaster damage assessment. Engineering recommendations will also be needed for post-earthquake building re-entry and re-habitation risk assessment.
  • community emergency response,
  • light search and rescue,
  • structural awareness,
  • volunteers
Publication Date
January, 2004
Citation Information
Petal, M., Tüzün, C., U., C., and Green, R. (2004). "Teaching Structural Hazards Awareness: New Partnerships for Preparedness and Community Response." Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering, 2 (2): 155-171.