Southeastern Section - 62nd Annual Meeting (20-21 March 2013)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 8:05 AM


EDWARDS, Stacey, ASH, Clevon, JOHNSON, Monique and ROBERTSON, Richard, Seismic Research Centre, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago,

From March 2009-March 2010, the Seismic Research Centre of the University of the West Indies (SRC) embarked on a project to produce a suite of multi-media public awareness and teacher education material for tsunamis and other coastal hazards and to launch these products in select pilot states in the Caribbean. This activity was conducted under the Public Awareness and Education (PAE) component of the Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning System Project (TCHWS Project) which was being implemented by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency[1] (CDEMA) and funded by the United States Agency for International Development Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA).

Major Project activities included a comprehensive review of existing public awareness and teacher material (regional and international) the findings of which were used to inform a Public Awareness & Education Strategy for the Project. A key component of the Strategy was the development of a branding concept (called ‘Tsunami Smart’) for promoting tsunami awareness across the region. Tsunami Smart is a strategy and concept that is rooted in self-reliance and empowerment of vulnerable island communities. The PAE Strategy, Tsunami Smart concept as well as draft public awareness and teacher education materials were subject to a thorough review process before the final versions were developed. Additionally, the material was launched during on-island public awareness and education campaigns at several Tsunami Smart Sessions, essentially stakeholder meetings in three (3) pilot states during which comments and suggestions for improvement were provided and subsequently incorporated.

This presentation will summarise the work undertaken, highlight key follow up activities as well as presents the challenges and recommendations for additional follow up activity in connection with the Public Awareness and Education component of the Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning System Project.

[1] Formerly Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA)