While children are one of the groups at risk in disasters, they can also take an active part in disaster management, provided that the opportunity is given. This research examined the effect of disaster experience, disaster education, country, and city socioeconomic status on children's perceived risk and preparedness with a survey of 1335 children between 11 and 14 years old, in Nepal and Turkey. The survey used questionnaires and the pictorial representation of illness and self measure (PRISM) tool. Results showed that (1) children's risk perceptions were in line with their country-specific objective risks; (2) there were differences between the countries in relation to perception of risk for all the hazards except wildfire; (3) socioeconomic status had a statistically significant effect on children's perceptions of risk and preparedness for earthquakes, wildfires, that is, children who live in wealthier places had higher perceived risk and preparedness; (4) children in both countries showed similar trends in their knowledge of the correct protective actions to take in the event of a hazard occurrence. However, there is still room to enhance children's knowledge, in terms of safety behaviors, as the children selected many incorrect protective actions. There are important implications in terms of child-centered disaster management which hopefully will make life safer and help to create more resilience to disaster in society as a whole.
- objective risk
- risk perception