Translated by Google Translate, revised
Romano Camassi is a researcher at INGV (Department of Bologna). ‘Seismologist’ of eccentric training (a degree in Pedagogy, a thesis in modern history), engaged for more than three decades in historical research on earthquakes. Co-author of the main catalogues of Italian earthquakes. For over 15 years he has dedicated a part of his work to seismic risk education projects.
After every destructive earthquake, in Italy as elsewhere, the need to improve the earthquake education the seismic risk education, or even to introduce it at various levels, is recalled. It is true that, albeit not generally, there have been and there are several initiatives in this area. Can you give us an idea, and maybe refer to some publication that summarizes them?
It is true: after every major earthquake, everyone invokes more information, preparation, risk education in schools, information campaigns, exercises. More: it is frequent that at every change of minister (or undersecretary), or just before its decadence, announcements are made, protocols are signed, even, which then have no real following: of this there are very recent examples. The initiatives that in the last decades have set themselves, in various ways, the objective of education to seismic risk have been innumerable, impossible to make an inventory (nor is there a publication that has done so). I refer to initiatives of scientific dissemination on the earthquake, training for schools, awareness of the population. Many local administrations – individual municipalities, provinces, regions – sometimes in a totally impromptu manner, other times in a more organized and continuous way, have promoted initiatives of this kind. The same have been done by individual civil protection associations, or national orders: I remember a beautiful pamphlet of the National Council of Architects, distributed in September 2001 by “Famiglia Cristiana”, or even recent initiatives by geologists and engineers. Could not mention them all.
The problem is that, in many cases (not all), they were short-term initiatives, which often responded to temporary needs, in which the visibility of the promoter was to prevail. Everything is useful, many accomplished things have certainly been of good quality: but the problem is that of sensitization, of risk education, is an essential, fundamental part of that fundamental task of the National Service of Civil Protection summarized by the term, which seems to me almost worn out, of prevention. How can there be prevention, that is to say precise choices, actions that reduce the risk, without people being aware, informed, ‘activated’ to make those choices, every day? And I do not speak so much about the correct behaviours in an emergency, on which we often stop to stop the attention, but of the choices that reduce immediately or in time the vulnerability (not structural and structural) of the environment in which we live. Continua a leggere