ODPM: Making schools safer

Tacarigua, Trinidad and Tobago, May 28th, 2015 (ODPM) - The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) kicked off its Safer Schools Programme 2015 with visits to the Guaico Presbyterian Primary School and Moulton Hall Methodist Primary School on Monday 25th June, 2015 and Tuesday 26th June, 2015 respectively – both schools participated in the ODPM’s National Primary Schools’ Quiz in 2014 with Guaico Presbyterian emerging the winners.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at the end of the 20th century, approximately 66.5 million children were affected worldwide every year by natural disasters. The ODPM, in keeping with its commitment to build the resilience of Trinidad and Tobago, is determined to reduce the vulnerability of our nation’s children. The ODPM recognises their crucial importance in building our resilience since they have a unique and holistic perception of risks, are effective risk communicators and are innovative agents of change. The Safer Schools Programme, since its inception in 2010, seeks to not only reduce their vulnerability but also to encourage and incorporate their participation in disaster risk management. Some methods of doing so include teachers’ workshops, competitions such as the National Quiz and the ODPM’s upcoming poster competition and school tours.

Handy Andy presents the ODPM’s Kids Activity Book

As participants, and winners, of the ODPM’s fourth annual National Primary Schools’ Quiz held in 2014, Guaico Presbyterian and Moulton Hall Methodist were given a treat as the first schools selected to be part of the School Tours 2015. At these tours, children were encouraged by representatives of the ODPM to learn as much as they could since education can be life-saving as illustrated in the story of Tilly Smith, the ten-year old girl who saved the lives of approximately 100 persons from the Indonesian tsunami in 2004. The pupils of these schools proved to be very knowledgeable as they loudly proclaimed ways to prepare for the upcoming Rainy Season and the items that should be packed in their emergency preparedness kits.

Students of Guaico Presbyterian Primary School listen attentively to the ODPM during their school tour Students of Guaico Presbyterian Primary School with their Kids’ Activity Books Students of Moulton Hall Methodist Primary School with their Kids Activity Books


Students were delighted to receive the ODPM’s Children’s Activity Book which contains critical information on hazards and preparing for them, along with fun learning activities guided by the ODPM’s children’s mascot Handy Andy. The ODPM has also developed an e-version of the book called “Kid’s CORE” which is available for free download on both Android and iOS platforms. In addition to a Children’s Activity Book for every student, the two schools were also presented with several boxes of the ODPM’s Riskland Game (developed in conjunction with UNICEF). The ODPM’s Safer Schools activities will continue throughout the year 2015 and beyond in order to achieve the ultimate goal: building the resilience of all schools and by extension the entire nation.

For further information, please contact:
Giselle Kowlessar,
Community Outreach Programme Assistant
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
Tel: 498-9685
Customer Call Centre 511

CDEMA Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. Resilience Way, Lower Estate, St. Michael Tel: (246) 434-4880, Fax: (246) 271-3660
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