1) If I were a school administrator, I would build capacity and foster resiliency by encouraging disaster education programs in the school curriculum. It is important that these children understand what disasters are and how disasters can affect them. These programs can be tailored to the children’s age group to teach children about the different kinds of hazards they face, healthy ways to deal with disasters, and encourage them to make educated decisions when faced with disasters and emergencies. Although there may be little-to-no budget for this kind of program, an effort can be made to have volunteers come to school for an assembly or workshop. It would be beneficial for children to learn these kinds of things from disaster psychologists, social workers, and emergency personnel.

2) Advocacy and education are the two biggest things the community can do to assist renters, particularly before and after a disaster (as opposed to during).  As someone who has rented his whole adult life, I never knew about renter’s insurance. Given that renter’s insurance is relatively inexpensive and can really assist a family to replace lost possessions, I can only guess that most families are unfamiliar with renter’s insurance.  Informing renters of such things before disasters strike should be a priority for the community.

Education, however, is not going to fix all problems that renters have, especially lower-income renters that are often at the mercy of their landlords.  Communities, therefore, should work to advocate for renting families to ensure that landlords are taking proper mitigation steps in order to prevent or minimize the effects of disaster, or to make sure that families have places to go when a renting family’s home has been rendered uninhabitable.

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