Safe Neighborhood Project


Report from: ZAUMS Environmental and Occupational Health Department

Published on: 23 April 2019


The Islamic Republic of Iran is among the top ten most disaster-prone countries in the world. Situated in one of the most arid regions on earth, it suffers from frequent droughts, floods, and landslides. Due to its particular location in the Alpine-Himalayan mountain system, Iran is also highly vulnerable to numerous and severe earthquakes, such as the deadly tremors that struck Bam in 2003 (1). 

In the last two decades, the Government of the I.R. Iran has enhanced its natural disaster preparedness and emergency response capacity at both the national and local levels by adopting a new comprehensive DRM law and by creating the National Disaster Management Organization (NDMO) in 2007. The NDMO is responsible for risk reduction and disaster prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. Its work extends across Iran through provincial departments. The NDMO’s subsidiary bodies include fourteen working groups composed of various governmental, non­governmental, academic and technical institutions. The I.R. Iran allocates 2% of its national budget to disaster risk reduction (1).


Preparedness is one of the three elements of disaster risk reduction and relates to activities performed in the pre-disaster phase. The focus of prevention and mitigation is to reduce exposure to hazards; preparedness reduces the effect of hazards on the population. The capacity of the society to reduce the deleterious effects of hazards increases through increasing mitigation and preparedness. Integration of preparedness and disaster risk reduction can play an important role in saving lives. Improving preparedness leads to improving resilience and risk reduction of disasters. The focus of recent approaches in the field of disaster and emergency management has been on the comprehensive and systematic risk management activities such as prevention, mitigation, and preparedness, not just on the response phase.

Community empowerment should be considered in the planning for disaster preparedness, in order to strengthen households" readiness. As part of the National Iranian Health Week 2019 activities, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences launched a Safe Neighborhood Project, which is a community Based Disaster Risk Management intervention to improve disasters preparedness and resilience of household in Zahedan, Southeast of Iran. The project aims to increase community resilience by promoting the readiness and preparedness of households to deal with natural disasters. Zahedan Morvarid Residential Complex with 8 building blocks and 72 residential units was considered for this community based intervention.

This project will be implemented by  Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, in collaboration with the Board of Trustees of the Residential Complex and the Firefighting Organization, Iranian Red Crescent Society, Crisis Management Office of the Municipality, and Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting. The project involves a total of 25 educational and interventional steps, and it will begin with the assessment of the preparedness of households for a proper disaster response. After all the interventions the project will be concluded by coverage of accident insurance, and a series of disaster mitigation and response maneuvers. Most of those activities and interventions will be repeated on an annual basis.

Program implementation steps:

1. Selection of the residential complex selection by the Disaster Risk Management Center

2. Field visit of the selected area and familiarity with the management process

3. Preliminary meeting with members of the Board of Trustees

4. Holding a briefing meeting for the residents of the complex about the project - benefits of the project and the manner of implementation

5. Establishment of a permanent secretary of the Safe Neighborhood Project in the Vice Chancellery for Health and Zahedan District Health Center and the appointment of members of the Secretariat

6. Establishment of the project"s executive headquarters in collaboration with all the public institutes and related stockholders

7. Recruitment of Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) among the neighborhood residents

8. Provision of educational materials and equipments to be used in the training sessions  

9. Official inauguration of the project with the participation of relevant authorities and stockholders

10. Door-t-door evaluation of households disaster preparedness by CHVs based on the Disaster Assessment of Readiness and Training (DART) checklist

11. Household training of the Poster # 1 on hazard identification by CHVs

12. Monitoring & evaluation of the household activities related to the Poster # 1

13. Household training of the Poster # 2 on the earthquake by CHVs

14. Monitoring & evaluation of the household activities related to the Poster # 2

15. Household training of the Poster # 3 on the floods by CHVs

16. Monitoring & evaluation of the household activities related to the Poster # 3

17. Assessment of the house fire risk by Fire Brigade experts

18. Monitoring and evaluation of the household interventions to address the fire risk reduction

19. Household training on how to use fire extinguishers

20. Designing and recommendation of a fire detection and alarm systems for houses by firefighters

21. Follow up on the implementation of the fire detection and alarm systems for houses by the Board of Trustees

22. Household First Aid training by Red Crescent Society experts

23. Controlling the prepared household First Aid Kits by CHVs and the members of the Board of Trustees  

24. Provision of a comprehensive evacuation plan

25. Implementation of an evacuation training program


Download campain materials in Persian


Safe Neighborhood Project Report Update May 2019

Copyright © 2019 Zahedan University of Medical Sciences. All rights reserved. Date Updated: 23/04/2019.
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1. United Nations Iran. UNDAF 2012-2016 - Disaster Risk Management 2019. Available from:


Vice Chancellor for Health

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