During 7-18 May, one of MDRM’s elective course, Disaster Education and Preparedness for Social Resilience, was organized by international lecture team consisting of Professor Fusanori Miura of Yamaguchi University, Professor Hitoshi Nakamura of Shibaura Institute of Technology, Dr. Khairul Hisyam bin Kamardin and Dr. Shohei Matsuura of UTM.
The course introduced some of the tools that are widely used in Japan for working with communities for building local disaster resilience as well as methodologies to utilize scientific information to plan local land use and DRM planning. These knowledge and skills are expected to help DRM practitioners plan and implement disaster risk reduction activities based on evidence instead from just experience.
As an example, Professor Miura conducted the Disaster Imagination Exercise (DIG) exercise in which students were required to develop evacuation maps under a given a scenario that the surrounding areas of UTM KL campus have been flooded due to extreme rainfall. The students carefully drafted and layered several sheets with information representing landscape and hazard risks, and then finally coming up with the safest route and location to evacuate.
A special lecture was given by an international student from Bangladesh on disaster profile, issues and measures taken by the government and donors in the most disaster-prone countries in the world. DPPC/MDRM team is expected to visit Bangladesh this year to conduct interviews and field visits to learn and seek possible collaborations in research and training.
The MDRM program is expected to continue to provide practical knowledge and skills for existing DRM practitioners and for those seriously seeking to pursue a career in emergency management and disaster risk management. Students may choose to pursue a master’s degree or pick and choose among 10 technical and/or policy-based MDRM courses of their interest to develop their professional skills.