Disaster Preparedness

Documentary Production on Earthquake Preparedness : Stories from the 2015 Nepal Earthquakes and Lessons Learned

(A Collaborative Project with Global Disaster Preparedness Center, The American National Red Cross, USA)

Nepal was hit by very big earthquakes in April 2015 and it came as a very big unpleasant surprise for the residents of Nepal as we had not experienced such a large scale earthquakes in the last eight decades. People were not prepared for such a huge disaster. There were some organizations that had taken some initiatives to warn people about the possible occurrence of the earthquake but the impact these initiatives had on general public during the earthquake was very little. When the earthquake came, it came like a terror. Individuals as well as organizations had a very hard time coping with the impacts, and “how do we deal with this?” was a big question as the tremors shook everyone off their comfort zone. This earthquake has left a lot of lessons. We now have some idea of what could have helped us better, and there are a series of “If only I/we had…” statements in people’s minds. But, it may not even take the next eighty years before people forget all of this again, and another tragedy hits them. Thus, it is very important that disaster preparedness is a must for everyone and we need to be aware of the hurdles in the past, so that new ideas and plans may be generated so that people are safer in the future. Exploring Innovations Nepal is very keen to work in disaster preparedness section and it has been exploring the possibilities of collaboration with development partners both in Nepal and outside.

In a partnership with Global Disaster Preparedness Center, we are in the process of producing a series of three short videos to cover lessons learned during the earthquake. Each of the three videos focus on one issue. The first is on the importance of go-bag, a way to be prepared with the essentials in case of a disaster, which despite of a great degree of awareness, very few people had kept ready. The second is on the importance of open spaces. While people normally run to their homes when they feel unsafe, they run to an open space in case of an earthquake. There are fewer open spaces as the population in cities grow. The third is on conserving heritages. The cultural heritages and structures stay at a high risk during disasters as they are mostly old structures. It is important to keep them maintained, and prepared for such disasters. The video covers essential aspects in protecting these monuments. With these three videos, we aim to create awareness on these issues, and make an attempt in keeping people prepared for such disasters in the future.

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