Florida State University

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

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Emergency Management Students Conduct Training in Chile

The Florida State University Emergency Management and Homeland Security (EMHS) program offers exemplary students the chance to work in an international environment in the field of emergency management. In Summer 2016, four EMHS students participated in a unique opportunity to make a positive impact on vulnerable populations in the Atacama Desert in Chile.

EMHS partnered with Candelaria Mining Company in Tierra Amarilla, Chile, and the University of Chile in Santiago. Over the course of five days, students led trainings in disaster preparedness and, in particular, training community members on a communication plan designed specifically for the Tierra Amarilla community.

Students designed the plan themselves, advised by EMHS faculty and staff about the physical and technological constraints of communication in the region.

EMHS became involved in this project in the aftermath of an extreme flooding event in the Atacama Desert in March 2015. Although it is the driest place on earth, severe rains caused uncharacteristic conditions in the region, leading to the flooding of several populated areas.

Tierra Amarilla, a town of about 11,000 residents, was impacted by this disaster, and many survivors lost loved ones, their homes, and possessions. In a disaster of this magnitude, it is often difficult to communicate with those affected. Community members stated that after the training they felt better equipped to communicate with friends and family regarding the dangerous hazards and effects of natural disasters.

For more information on the EMHS program visit this link.