On the “19th National Day of Safety in Schools”, held in Italy last November, Cittadinanzattiva, ANP and Civil Protection Department launched an investigation to understand how the pandemic changed schools and presented a Smart box and three video pills to revive prevention on natural hazards.

The need to adapt schools from the point of view of structural safety is an emergency for Italy. Equally important is to continue to keep attention and information on risk prevention high, beyond the pandemic. The data speak for themselves: more than half of the schools do not have a static usability certificate (54%) and a fire prevention certificate (59%); 39% are without static testing. Furthermore, 17,343 (43% of the total) are schools in areas with high seismicity and 1,983 (4.9%) are in an area subject to hydrogeological constraints. Approximately 18% is considered an old building (over 50 years old). Thirty-five episodes of collapses occurred at school between September 2020 and August 2021, about three per month. There are 17 thousand classes with more than 25 pupils, a problem concentrated above all in high schools where 7% of the classes are supernumerary.

With the aim of promoting resilience in the face of disasters in schools, Cittadinanzattiva created a safety Smart box, with useful materials that can be downloaded for free (brochures, posters, video tutorials) to learn about and deal with the natural risks present in the territories and in the school environment, and three video pills, with students as protagonists, to raise awareness of the risks and the knowledge of the school and plan and the municipal civil protection emergency plans.

With the National Day of Safety in Schools, we have always aimed at the protagonism of students so that they can live in safe school environments that are suitable for their needs and be the first informants to the community and families regarding the correct behavior to be implemented in the face of the risks of the territory in which they live”, declares Anna Lisa Mandorino, General Secretary of Cittadinanzattiva. “We ask the institutions to keep maximum attention in the face of the need to have safe schools from a structural point of view but also to keep the focus on prevention from natural risks, such as earthquakes and floods. Emergency tests can be done, even respecting the anti-Covid provisions and there are no exceptions to these protection measures”.

Author: Maya Battisti (Cittadinanzattiva)

Photo credits: Oliver Hale on Unsplash