As member of the Basque Government’s security department, ERTZAINTZA is very concerned about the safety of the population in a crisis or disaster situation. The way the hazard is perceived and how much resilience is shown are of notable interest for the department who make use of a police system adapted to the proximity to the citizen. We must not Police is often perceived by society as a repressive entity and one of the main role it cover, is to transfer knowledge in a crisis situation (pre, during and post) is to change this image. One of the pedagogical aspects we are focusing on is how to instill knowledge in our society to improve its resilience
During the last year, we contributed to the ENGAGE project by analyzing in depth the factors that play a role in the level of resilience of a society. Several aspects related to resilience, culture and risk awareness have been assessed. The main difference we took into account is the one between contextual and target aspects . We focused on target factors such the level of risk awareness and the sense of preparedness of citizens, to understand where we work to make our societies more able to cope with disasters.
Exploring Risk Awareness
In ERTZAINTZA we are particularly interested in the topic of risk awareness for two main reasons:
First because the Basque Country society has suffered for many years from the terrorism of an organized group. This experience has made citizens much more alert. There have been many people who have witnessed complicated situations and, on the basis of these experiences, have become more resilient.
Secondly, we share the issue that has shaken the world recently, Covid 19. We believe that the world at large will be very aware of the situation since 2020 and that society has greatly increased its risk awareness, and consequently its resilience. This situation has undoubtedly helped to understand disaster risk.
The contribution of ERTZAINTZA to the Engage Project pursuits other several objectives:
- Understanding and promoting how citizens, communities and authorities can contribute to societal resilience in different contexts.
- Identifying existing formal and informal solutions to enhance societal resilience.
- Establishing a collaborative community between practitioners and citizens, providing them with the means to collaborate, co-create and exchange experiences, and share learning and training opportunities.
- Engaging society for risk awareness and resilience.
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Author: Javier Villarin (ERTZ)
Photo credit: Ertzaintza