Stories of Change

Taufiq sits outside of his school, where he participated in disaster risk reduction simulations.

Emergency preparedness in disaster-prone Indonesia

Taufiq and his family know all too well how devastating an earthquake can be. A series of earthquakes struck his village in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, last year. “I was inside the house with my mother when the quake struck,” the 11-year-old remembers. 

Taufiq’s family and neighbors knew that an earthquake would likely lead to other disasters like aftershocks or tsunamis, so they fled to nearby mountains. When they returned home, it was to a scene of devastation. Thousands of people camped out in tents for months. “Before our village was destroyed by the earthquake, we had not received information on what to do when disasters strike,” Taufiq says. 

Indonesia is prone to disasters, so emergency preparedness is critical. That’s why CWS and our national partner, INANTA, have a program to help communities be more prepared. We recently held information sessions and disaster response simulations in Central Sulawesi, the site of the earthquake that Taufiq survived. One of these simulations happened at his school.

In a disaster, even basic information and protective actions can be life saving. During the simulation, Taufiq and other students practiced protecting their heads as a first measure, and then practiced evacuating. Now, Taufiq says that he feels more prepared because he knows what to do if his village experiences another earthquake. And the sad fact is that for his community, it’s likely more a question of when the next disaster will strike, not if.

CWS is proud to support at-risk communities, especially schools, in preparing to act quickly and wisely when disaster strikes.