On the eve of Emergency Preparedness Week (May 1-7, 2016), and following the recent earthquakes in Japan where aftershocks continue to rumble, the Province is announcing a new program to help students, their families and their communities better prepare for emergencies.

Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto today announced the Master of Disaster program, which will launch as a pilot project during Emergency Preparedness week in order to help develop a planned widespread launch in B.C. schools this coming fall.

To become a Master of Disaster, students are provided with the knowledge necessary to prepare for the worst should disaster strike, as well as the skills to create more-resilient and connected households and families that understand the importance of working together before, during and after an emergency.

Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto said, “Much like other educational programs internalized by British Columbian students in school over the years – such as ‘Drop, Cover and Hold On’ – the Master of Disaster program will develop a foundation to help protect our students’ families and communities for a lifetime. The resilience of this province depends on us all taking action, and doing everything we can to prepare for emergencies.”

The Master of Disaster program teaches emergency preparedness from a proactive, all-hazards perspective. By taking the lessons they learn in the classroom home with them, students can help protect their families and – by extension – their communities.

Minister of Education Mike Bernier said, “Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility in this province. If every family in B.C. is able to prepare an emergency kit, it will do a lot to mitigate overall risk to our communities. The Master of Disaster program can help kids prepare their families to do just that.”

PreparedBC developed the Master of Disaster program in collaboration with a working group of teachers from throughout the province, local Emergency Program Coordinators, school administrators, academic researchers and stakeholders such as the Insurance Bureau of Canada. The program is based on recommendations by the Ministry of Education.

North Vancouver Parent Advisory Council executive Kulvir Mann said, “I really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved in the Master of Disaster working group. This program is a fun way to help kids gain the knowledge necessary to help them navigate emergencies for the rest of their lives.”

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