A protocol to communicate seismic risk in schools: design, test and assessment in Italy

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Gemma Musacchio
Elena Eva
Massimo Crescimbene
Nicola Alessandro Pino
Lorenzo Cugliari


The best chance to achieve a future disaster-resilient society is through risk education in School: it has a great potential to strengthen capacity of communities to mitigate risks. The KnowRISK (Know your city, Reduce seISmic risK through non-structural elements) project took this opportunity and implemented a risk communication campaign for schools in Portugal, Italy, and Iceland. The idea was that suitably changes in people’s knowledge and attitude can trigger best practices. Crucial to reach such target is the raise of awareness on meaningful issues. The main challenge of the campaign was how to effectively address the mitigation of the vulnerability to earthquakes of non-structural elements, which is an issue considered to be of low priority even in the building regulations of many countries around the world.

The campaign stood on a communication strategy that was systematized within a protocol, for 13- 15 years old students, that specifies goals, contents, learning strategy, support material, and relies on face-to-face intervention of scientists in the classroom. This protocol had training sessions bounded by assessment sessions, ex-ante and ex-post, that allowed to validate its efficacy. The training made large use of flipped learning and Episode of Situated Learning (EAS) strategy to raise student’s motivation and increase achievements. To ensure its replicability, the protocol was tested in zones matching a wide range of seismic hazard in Italy. The assessment showed the protocol be effective and ready for a wide dissemination.

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How to Cite
Musacchio, G., Eva, E., Crescimbene, M., Pino, N. A. and Cugliari, L. (2021) “A protocol to communicate seismic risk in schools: design, test and assessment in Italy”, Annals of Geophysics, 64(3), p. SE325. doi: 10.4401/ag-8533.
Empowering communities for non-structural seismic risk mitigation: the central role of communication