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Disaster school for Red Cross humanitarian workers

The Canadian Red Cross hosted more than 200 participants at the annual Conference on Disaster Management in Halifax, Nova Scotia this week to discuss all things disaster: evacuations, planning, training, communications and preparedness.

Halina St James from Podium Coaching who acted as emcee for the conference posted this blog on JP Taschereau's presentation about the Red Cross disaster field school. Check it out:

Learning from catastrophe: school that teaches disaster management 

How do you prepare for a disaster? The chaos, logistical complexities, working in a strange country, working with different culture, different languages and technological development. You can’t learn how to handle all that in the tranquility of a classroom. And when you’re in an actual disaster, you could be a liability if you don’t have the right experience. So what do you do?

Canadian Red Cross disaster management expert, JP Taschereau, with conference emcee and Podium Coaching founder Halina St James

At the Red Cross Conference on Disaster Management in Halifax, NS, this week, I learned the solution. A Disaster Field School. The Red Cross and Red Crescent set up a hands-on school, usually in countries where there have been disasters. At the disaster field school, you learn by doing.

It was a great pleasure for me to be able to introduce the speaker, JP Taschereau from the Red Cross. Jean-Pierre has enormous experience of dealing with disasters around the world. He was an IFRC team leader in Haiti after the earthquake.

He explained that the disaster field school operates anywhere in the world. Sometimes, teachers and students arrive in a country only to find a day later a real disaster strikes. Suddenly their ‘school’ is the real thing. The experience is invaluable.

At the Halifax conference Jean-Pierre Tashereau showed excerpts from a TVO Documentary on the Haiti Earthquake. This documentary is being used by emergency organizations around the world to help them deal with disasters better.

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