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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: Examples of Tsunami Education Efforts." National Research Council. 2011. Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation's Preparedness Efforts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12628.
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APPENDIX E
Examples of Tsunami Education Efforts

One element in the committee’s statement of task was to comment on the status and adequacy of tsunami education efforts, based on existing national compilations or assessments. Such compilations and assessments currently do not exist for tsunami education efforts in the United States, nor do National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP) criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the information content, style, process, and dissemination of tsunami education efforts. It is beyond the scope of this committee to develop such an inventory or evaluative criteria, therefore a thorough assessment is not possible. Instead, in an effort to simply demonstrate the breadth of current tsunami education efforts, the committee compiled the following list based on received information and online searches. This list is not designed to be exhaustive, as NTHMP plans to develop such an inventory and web-based repository in the coming years (as noted in its 2009-2013 strategic plan). This list serves to illustrate the range of education efforts and is organized by passive education (e.g., books, brochures), active education (e.g., workshops, curriculum), education training, and online resources.

PASSIVE EDUCATION DESIGNED FOR AT-RISK POPULATIONS

  • Books: Several books have been written to teach at-risk populations about tsunamis and how to survive future events. One example is Tsunami Survival—Lessons from Chile,1 which uses past tsunami disasters in Chile and Japan to educate people in the United States about tsunamis related to subduction-zone earthquakes. Another is Tsunami!,2 which documents past tsunami disasters in Hawaii, including first-hand accounts from tsunami survivors. Books designed to educate children include coloring books (e.g., Tommy Tsunami), a tsunami trivia activity sheet developed by NTHMP, and the Tsunami Warning! book developed by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).

  • Brochures: Several NTHMP members (e.g., Oregon, Washington, Puerto Rico) use brochures to disseminate tsunami evacuation maps and preparedness information, such as background information about tsunamis, safety tips and instructions on what to do in case of a tsunami, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio (NWR) information. Brochures can be placed where people visit, including visitor centers, hotels/motels, ferry terminals, medical offices, libraries, local businesses, community centers, or even utility offices. Although they are passive educational instruments, brochures do provide a physical cue that may motivate individuals, including tourists that may lack other avenues to learn about tsunamis.

  • Business continuity guides: The Pacific Tsunami Museum recently published How to Prepare Your Business for the Next Tsunami, which is a guidebook for businesses on preparedness and post-disaster continuity planning.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: Examples of Tsunami Education Efforts." National Research Council. 2011. Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation's Preparedness Efforts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12628.
×
  • Household planning guidelines: The Washington State Emergency Management Department (WEMD) has published How the Smart Family Survived a Tsunami, which discusses tsunami education and preparedness for households in tsunami-prone areas.

  • Paraphernalia: The NTHMP has supported the development of tsunami education products, such as a heat-sensitive coffee mug, pens, bookmarks, family disaster cards, hazard zone decals, tent cards, trivia cards, videos, and posters. The NTHMP members can order products from a catalog, and several states disseminate products at community fairs and workshops. These products serve to disseminate common tsunami images or messages among NTHMP members.

  • Signage: Although signage along roadsides or in public places is primarily for identifying tsunami hazard zones and evacuation routes, they may have other educational benefits, such as generating media attention, providing a physical cue to motivate individuals to learn more about tsunamis, injecting tsunamis into hazard mitigation discussions, and disseminating consistent messages across jurisdictions.

  • TsuInfo Newsletter: The Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources produces TsuInfo, a bimonthly newsletter with more than 350 subscribers, to provide current tsunami and research information to local emergency managers, local officials, and others involved in tsunami mitigation efforts.

  • Videos: Several states have developed tsunami-related videos, including “Run to High Ground” (Washington), “Cascadia,” “The Forgotten Danger” (Puerto Rico), and “Tsunami! Surviving the Killer Wave,” which can be found in schools and libraries. The Pacific Tsunami Museum worked with others to produce and broadcast three tsunami-safety Public Service Announcements statewide in 2006.

ACTIVE EDUCATION DESIGNED FOR AT-RISK POPULATIONS

  • Community workshops and town hall meetings: Local emergency managers and state/federal officials organize community workshops and town hall meetings to discuss tsunami hazards, societal vulnerability to these threats, individual and household preparedness, and tsunami warning and evacuation procedures. Local newspapers and other media often advertise these forums and in many cases carry them live over local TV and radio. Workshops provide the public with the opportunity to interact and discuss tsunami topics with scientists, emergency managers, and local officials. Workshops tailored for specific groups (e.g., elected officials, businesses, state agencies, and tribes) can be designed to address educational and preparedness issues specific to their needs. A community-specific tsunami education workshop was held in Tokeland, Washington, in 2008 to address informational needs of a tribe and small unincorporated town. The workshop provided participants with tsunami information specific to their community and led to a review of the community’s level of preparedness.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: Examples of Tsunami Education Efforts." National Research Council. 2011. Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation's Preparedness Efforts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12628.
×
  • Pacific Tsunami Museum: The Pacific Tsunami Museum (http://www.tsunami.org/) is a nonprofit organization located in Hilo, Hawaii, and is dedicated to promoting public tsunami education for the people of Hawaii and the Pacific Region. The museum combines scientific information and oral histories of tsunami survivors through a series of exhibits and lectures that explain the tsunami phenomenon, tsunami myths and legends, the Pacific Tsunami Warning system, and public safety measures.

  • School curriculum: Several tsunami education curriculums exist for various school grades. The WEMD has developed tsunami curriculum for grades K-6 and 7-12 that has been distributed both nationally among NTHMP members and internationally via the International Tsunami Information Center (ITIC). In the United States, each state has different laws governing education requirements, and in many cases it is left to the school district or teacher to decide what will be taught in the classroom. A curriculum for northern California schools has also been developed in collaboration with the Redwood Coast Tsunami Work Group. The Alaska Tsunami Education Program (http://www.aktsunami.com/index.html) provides student resources, lesson plans (K-12), multimedia resources, and teacher training workshops. Middle school curriculum has also been developed for schools in Guam. TsunamiTeacher is a web-based, distance-learning product (http://ioc3.unesco.org/TsunamiTeacher/) of the ITIC that consolidates tsunami education materials together at the global level and includes education modules, notes for trainers, workshop formats and evaluation materials, media resources, and mitigation resources. The ITIC provides access to the WEMD school curriculum, as well as the ITIC-developed “I Invite You to Know the Earth” education series for pre-school, 2nd to 4th grades, and 5th and 8th grades. Tsunami-related lesson plans are also available at The Bridge, an online teacher’s resource provided by NOAA Sea Grant and the National Marine Educators Association (http://www2.vims.edu/bridge/DATA.cfm?Bridge_Location=archive0105.html) and at the Discovery Channel’s Tsunami Teacher’s Guide (http://school.discoveryeducation.com/teachers/tsunami/). School curriculums for tsunamis have been developed also by the Department of Education and Training, Government of Australia (http://www.det.wa.edu.au/education/cmis/eval/curriculum/pathfinders/disasters/tsunamis/).

  • School drills: In addition to curriculum, many U.S. schools in tsunami hazard zones participate in earthquake/tsunami drills on a yearly basis and invite emergency managers to give talks in the classroom and at Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) meetings.

  • Stop Disasters simulation game: The UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) developed a tsunami module for its disaster simulation game Stop Disasters to teach children how to build communities that are resilient to tsunamis (http://www.stopdisastersgame.org/en/home.html). The interactive, web-based disaster simulation game has players decide how and where to build communities and what additional preparedness and mitigation strategies are needed to protect at-risk populations. A teacher’s guide is also included to incorporate the game into lesson plans.

  • State and county fairs: Fairs can be effective outreach opportunities, especially for individuals who may not live in tsunami-prone areas but are likely to visit these areas.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: Examples of Tsunami Education Efforts." National Research Council. 2011. Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation's Preparedness Efforts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12628.
×

Products that include tsunami information (e.g., posters, coffee mugs, magnets) can be given away, thereby bringing tsunami reminders into people’s homes and businesses. A recent example is the Tsunami-Safe fair (http://www.tsunami.org/tsunami_fair.html) held April 2008 in Hilo, Hawaii.

  • Walking guides: The Pacific Tsunami Museum developed the “East Hawaii walking and driving tour of historical tsunami sites” self-guided tour that includes a brochure and signage at particular sites.

EDUCATION TRAINING

  • Community education guidelines: The Pacific Tsunami Museum in Hilo, Hawaii, recently published “Tsunami Education: A Blueprint for Coastal Communities,” which is designed to help local officials and interested citizens develop tsunami outreach efforts in their communities. The WEMD promotes and trains interested individuals and neighborhood groups on the “Map Your Neighborhood” initiative, which focuses on developing social networks within neighborhoods that ideally lead to greater collaboration in preparing for and responding to disaster.

  • Media outreach and kits: Radio, television, newspapers, and magazines can be used to educate the public on tsunami preparedness and mitigation efforts; for example, a local cable TV station in Ocean Shores, Washington, hosts a monthly forum with elected officials to discuss tsunami preparedness issues. In response to issues identified during the June 2005 tsunami warning for the West Coast, the WEMD has developed a broadcasters’ tsunami emergency guidebook to train broadcasters on the notification process used to send tsunami alerts to the public. The goal of this guidebook is to ensure a consistent message is being sent by all outlets in a tsunami warning process. In Washington, WEMD and the National Weather Service (NWS)-Seattle have visited all broadcasters in Seattle and the majority of the Washington coast to train media staff and provide them the guidebook. The book is updated yearly and is being used as a template for other NTHMP partners.

  • Tourist lodging training: Several states and territories are working with lodging facilities to provide tourists with tsunami information and what to do in case of tsunamis. The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) has developed a tsunami preparedness guide for Oregon lodging facilities that contains information about tsunamis and their origins, tsunami hazards on the Oregon Coast, preparedness information from the American Red Cross, and evacuation graphics that lodging facilities can provide to guests. A similar disaster response guidebook has been developed by the WEMD for hotels and motels on Washington’s Coast. In addition to the guidebook, the WEMD holds workshops with lodging facilities in tsunami hazard zones to discuss the earthquake and tsunami hazard threat, to provide employee training on tsunami warning and evacuation, to set up a NOAA Weather Radio, and to provide education materials to be placed in rooms.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: Examples of Tsunami Education Efforts." National Research Council. 2011. Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation's Preparedness Efforts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12628.
×
  • “Train the trainers” workshops: The WEMD and the NTHMP have sponsored workshops designed to train individuals in at-risk communities on how to educate others in their community. Topics include tsunami origins and hazard assessment, societal vulnerability to tsunamis, risk reduction strategies, overviews of the tsunami warning centers, evacuation procedures, and risk communication strategies. The intent is to have local community members spread tsunami-related information through existing social networks to friends, family members, and co-workers.

ONLINE RESOURCES

  • Children of Tsunami: The Children of Tsunami (http://www.childrenoftsunami.info/) is a multimedia project that tracks Asia’s recovery from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami disaster through the experiences of eight children and families in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. It personalizes the tsunami threat and consequences in other parts of the world by providing at-risk populations the ability to watch real people recover from a tsunami disaster.

  • FEMA for Kids—Tsunamis: This website (http://www.fema.gov/kids/tsunami.htm) provides background on tsunamis, as well as general, multi-hazard information on disaster supply kits, how to protect your home from disasters, and how to protect pets.

  • Global Education Tsunami Education Toolkit: The Global Education website (http://www.globaleducation.edna.edu.au/globaled/page1637.html) is funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) to support its Global Education Program. The tsunami education toolkit provides background for teachers and students on tsunami issues, as well as larger contextual issues of poverty and development. The website includes worksheets for primary and secondary schoolchildren, teacher activities, case studies, and pet safety plans.

  • International Tsunami Information Center: The ITIC (http://ioc3.unesco.org/itic/) was established by the IOC of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and is located in Honolulu, Hawaii. One of its primary missions is to be a clearinghouse for the development of tsunami education and preparedness materials. The ITIC provides a research library, educational materials, media resources, posters, a tsunami glossary, a children’s cartoon book, posters, safety flyers, a textbook for 4th to 6th grades, videos, and links to other online resources.

  • NOAA Office of Education—Tsunami Education Resource Kit (TERK): The TERK (http://www.oesd.noaa.gov/terk_intro.htm) includes brochures, curricula, historical background information, multimedia visualizations, National Science Education (NSE) standards, scientific publications, preparedness strategies, and press releases.

  • NOAA Tsunami Program Education: This website (http://www.tsunami.noaa.gov/education.html) provides information on the TsunamiReady program, background information on tsunami terms and the warning systems, and links to teacher resources.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: Examples of Tsunami Education Efforts." National Research Council. 2011. Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation's Preparedness Efforts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12628.
×

REFERENCES

1. Atwater, B.F., S. Musumi-Rokkaku, K. Satake, Y. Tsuji, K. Ueda, and D.K. Yamaguchi. 2005. The Orphan Tsunami of 1700: Japanese Clues to a Parent Earthquake in North America. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1707, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston Virginia.

2. Dudley, W.C. and M. Lee 1998. TSUNAMI! University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: Examples of Tsunami Education Efforts." National Research Council. 2011. Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation's Preparedness Efforts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12628.
×
Page 237
Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: Examples of Tsunami Education Efforts." National Research Council. 2011. Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation's Preparedness Efforts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12628.
×
Page 238
Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: Examples of Tsunami Education Efforts." National Research Council. 2011. Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation's Preparedness Efforts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12628.
×
Page 239
Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: Examples of Tsunami Education Efforts." National Research Council. 2011. Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation's Preparedness Efforts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12628.
×
Page 240
Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: Examples of Tsunami Education Efforts." National Research Council. 2011. Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation's Preparedness Efforts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12628.
×
Page 241
Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: Examples of Tsunami Education Efforts." National Research Council. 2011. Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation's Preparedness Efforts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12628.
×
Page 242
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Many coastal areas of the United States are at risk for tsunamis. After the catastrophic 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, legislation was passed to expand U.S. tsunami warning capabilities. Since then, the nation has made progress in several related areas on both the federal and state levels. At the federal level, NOAA has improved the ability to detect and forecast tsunamis by expanding the sensor network. Other federal and state activities to increase tsunami safety include: improvements to tsunami hazard and evacuation maps for many coastal communities; vulnerability assessments of some coastal populations in several states; and new efforts to increase public awareness of the hazard and how to respond.

Tsunami Warning and Preparedness explores the advances made in tsunami detection and preparedness, and identifies the challenges that still remain. The book describes areas of research and development that would improve tsunami education, preparation, and detection, especially with tsunamis that arrive less than an hour after the triggering event. It asserts that seamless coordination between the two Tsunami Warning Centers and clear communications to local officials and the public could create a timely and effective response to coastal communities facing a pending tsuanami.

According to Tsunami Warning and Preparedness, minimizing future losses to the nation from tsunamis requires persistent progress across the broad spectrum of efforts including: risk assessment, public education, government coordination, detection and forecasting, and warning-center operations. The book also suggests designing effective interagency exercises, using professional emergency-management standards to prepare communities, and prioritizing funding based on tsunami risk.

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