June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Community Engagement Division
24.1187.1 - 24.1187.10
The Assessment of Earthquake Preparatory Knowledge and Activities of Lebanese Engineering StudentsThe uncontrollable physical and social consequences of an earthquake remain a key challengeand a horrible nightmare for every vulnerable community. Such a fact necessitates a proactiverole of engineering institutions and an active engagement of the engineering community inplanning and preparing for future earthquakes. It is well documented that even in highseismically active regions; earthquake disaster preparedness has traditionally been overlookedand ignored by the general public, local community and government organizations. Lebanon hasrepeatedly suffered from devastating earthquakes that have recently become a source of deepconcern because of their imminent threat to the safety of unprepared communities, to poorlydesigned infrastructure facilities and to the fragile national economy. The quiescence of seismicactivities along the Lebanese faulting systems during the last few centuries has misled both theLebanese public and former governments’ officials about the existing seismic hazards and hasreduced their perception and awareness for earthquake preparedness. This study investigates thepreparedness of Lebanese engineering students to future earthquake disasters. Senior studentsattending engineering colleges in Lebanon (N=378) were surveyed to assess: 1) students’awareness to earthquakes, 2) students’ preparatory knowledge and practice to earthquakes, 3) thepossible link between awareness, preparatory knowledge and practice, and 4) how engineeringinstitutions, organizations and programs have affected their current awareness and preparedness.Although the findings indicated satisfactory seismic risk awareness across the majority ofparticipants, a poor level of earthquake preparatory knowledge that has negatively affectedpreparatory practices was revealed. It was clear that engineering students were unable to connectsuch awareness with the needed preparatory knowledge and activities to reduce such risks. Also,the role of engineering institutions and organizations has insignificant influence on bothpreparatory knowledge and practicing skills of participants. This article calls for theincorporation of earthquake disaster preparatory knowledge and practice into engineeringprograms across Lebanon and for the engagement of the Lebanese engineering sector inearthquake disaster risk reduction efforts.
Baytiyeh, H. (2014, June), The Assessment of Earthquake Preparatory Knowledge and Activities of Lebanese Engineering Students Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23120
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