Wisdom of (using) the crowds: Enhancing disasters preparedness through public training in Light Search and Rescue

Kobi Peleg, Moran Bodas, Gilead Shenhar, Bruria Adini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Following major earthquakes, the vast majority of trapped survivors are rescued by layperson with the first 24–48 h. Most trapped individuals require only Light Search and Rescue (LSR). Therefore, there is sense in training members of the public in LSR competencies to upsurge survivability rates. Since the beginning of the school year 2017–8, all Israeli 10th graders have been undergoing such training. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of these training in terms of resilience, self-efficacy and knowledge. A cluster randomized study involving 19 clusters comprising of 35 schools was performed during the first semester of the school year. Students were asked to complete a self-reporting questionnaire before and after the LSR training. In total, 1758 questionnaires were collected, of which 1279 (~ 73%) were paired with both pre and post data. A significant increase was found in all indices. Resilience score increased from a mean of 2.85 (± 0.70 SD) pre-training to 3.95 (± 0.63 SD) following it (W = 29.451, p <.001). This difference constitutes a very large effect size of d = 1.652 (95%CI: 1.525, 1.779). Significant increases were observed also for self-efficacy and knowledge. Differences across demographic variables were observes, e.g. between the genders, with boys reporting greater levels of resilience than girls. This study demonstrates that SLR trainings for high school students are capable of benefiting students’ perception of resilience, self-efficacy and knowledge to perform during crisis. Moreover, the trainings have an equalizing effect on participants resulting in equally high levels of performance following training, despite pre-training differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-757
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Earthquakes
  • Knowledge
  • Light Search and Rescue
  • Resilience
  • Self-efficacy
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Safety Research
  • Geology


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