Claire Pettigrew: From childhood games to SIDS 2014

Why am I passionate about disaster management, and the inclusion of youth and children in disaster preparedness?

My interest in disaster management stems from a board game we had when I was a child. The Red Cross Survival Kit game saw players collecting survival kit items as they went around the board; a torch, radio, batteries, tinned food and so on. My sister and I played this game over and over with various family members and babysitters. The Survival Kit game sparked a passion for disaster preparedness that has continued until today, with office jokes centered around the loo paper stored in the kit under my desk, and my flatmates receiving 10 litre water containers from me for Christmas.

As a young person, not only do I now train weekly in search and rescue and volunteer for Civil Defense, but I am also involved in bringing together community leaders and resource owners in my neighborhood to develop a Community-Driven Emergency Response Plan. Young people, from the child who convinces mum and dad to set up a survival kit to the teenager gaining a first aid certificate and the young adult learning how to rescue earthquake victims, are capable of making a tangible difference to the disaster preparedness of our communities.

I am looking forward to attending the Small Island Developing States 2014 Conference as an AYLI delegate. Many of the events and discussions will be held on disaster risk reduction, and I am excited to learn more about what young people are doing to make their communities more resilient around the world, and to share the experiences of the youth of New Zealand.

All posts by Institute delegates reflect their own thoughts, opinions and experiences, and do not reflect those of the Institute.

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Posted on August 24, 2014 and filed under SIDS 2014.