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Evacuation simulation at the day center

On 15th of June Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB), under its Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DiDRR) project, organized an earthquake drill for the day center for children with disabilities - Aisi. Children and youth in the center had been preparing for it through DiDRR trainings that ASB provided. Children as well as their teachers and other staff members of the center learned main rules on how to act during earthquake and other disasters. "They are very excited about today's event and have been talking about it for past month" - said Nana Tsartsidze, director of the center and added: "Our main goal is to help Aisi`s beneficiaries to integrate into society. This also means that they need to be prepared for everything, including natural disasters. Our guests` and beneficiaries` friendly attitude towards each other is a real proof that we made a one more step towards our aim".

With the assistance from Emergency Management Agency, the building was evacuated in a very short time. Children were very interested in how the rescue, fire and ambulance brigades were working. There was a fire simulation, and one boy was even carried with a stretcher into an ambulance car. "It was a great learning experience to ensure preparedness first of all of course for the teachers and children of the daycare center but secondly also for the rescue teams of the Emergency Management Agency who got a very good practice on how to behave with children who might react differently than they are used to." - said Matthias Wohlfeil, ASB Georgia country director.

People with disability are one of the most high-at-risk group during natural disasters. Therefore, involving them in such evacuation drills has a significant importance. Enthusiasm of Aisi`s children and youth and their interest towards evacuation drill showed ASB and governmental structures that such activities need to be more frequent. Representatives from the center, ASB and Emergency Management Agency later discussed the problems, that arose during preparation and evacuation process and elaborated ways to solve it and to minimize the risk during natural disasters.

Evacuation drill in Aisi day care center was organized in the framework of ASB`s project “We Are Ready! -Disability Inclusive DRR Education for a Culture of Safety” financed by the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations. One of the main goal of this project is to increase the capacity of disabled persons' organizations and NGOs working with the persons with disabilities, and to ensure their active participation in disaster risk reduction issues.