Public outreach, education, and annual exercise are essential to enhance the community’s preparedness and resilience. In the fourth IOTIC lecture series, IOC-UNESCO organized an online lecture on Tsunami Education, Outreach, and Exercise corresponding Tsunami Ready Indicators 6,7 and 8. This online lecture, which conducted on 25 September 2020, featured Mr. Ardito M. Kodijat, Head of Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre- IOC UNESCO Indonesia, as the moderator and two guest lectures, Ms. Ghazala Naeem, Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation Expert, Pakistan, and Ms. Weniza, the Agency for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics (BMKG) Indonesia. This 4th online lecture aimed to improve knowledge and understanding of the IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready indicators related to public outreach, education, and regular exercise.
In the first session, Ms. Ghazala discussed the Community Tsunami and Education Outreach. She outlined the various factors to be considered in developing tsunami education and outreach material. Among others are having good tsunami evacuation maps, observing natural signs, and responding to official warnings, what to do before and immediately after a tsunami. Developing tsunami education and outreach should consider the local scenarios where it includes local geographical, environmental, and cultural features. Ms. Ghazala also pointed out various ways to reach the community, such as a brochure, public services, local faith organizations, local radio, historical sites, social media, and bulk emails. Furthermore, she underlined the importance of annual exercise to educate the community about tsunami and other hazards, evacuation routes, and how the information will be received.
The lecture proceeded with Ms. Weniza on tsunami exercise. She mentioned the Indian Ocean-wide tsunami exercise (IOWAVE) is an effective tool to evaluate the readiness of the operation of the Tsunami Service Providers and the Indian Ocean Member States’ National Tsunami Warning Centers, Disaster Management Organizations (DMOs), and community in responding to potentially destructive Oceanwide tsunamis. It also provided the opportunity for Indian Ocean countries to test their communication methods and review their SOPs, tsunami emergency response plans, and tsunami emergency preparedness. Furthermore, in this session, she outlined in detail the planning of the tsunami exercise. First, ensuring the tsunami exercise is part of national, local, and community strategy and policy to build preparedness. Second, exercise should be equipped with proper training. The next process is to analyze the goals with the three following scenarios based on the need and purpose of the exercise depending on the local context:
If the goal is only to initiate the development of SOPs or resource integration, then Orientation Drill may suffice;
If the goal is to raise awareness and introducing evacuation procedure, then drill exercise is needed;
If the goal is to validate the communication system, warning chain, or SOPs, tabletop or even full-scale training can be done.
At the end of the second session, Ms. Weniza stressed the importance of the exercise's quality control to ensure that the activity meets the objectives.
Around 368 participants in zoom and 47 participants in the Facebook live engaged in the discussion. It estimated 29 countries where 16 of them from the Indian Ocean member states. This fourth lecture received positive feedbacks from the participants, where most participants were pleased with the lessons. The participants felt that the course gave them insight and raise their awareness about the importance of tsunami education and exercise for the community.
The 5th IOTIC Online Lecture on the tsunami warning and emergency response is scheduled on Friday, 2nd October 2020, 2:00 PM-3.15 PM (GMT+ 7). The last IOTIC Online Lecture Series will be conducted on Friday, 9 October 2020, 2:00 PM-3.15 PM (GMT+ 7).
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