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PDC and Hawaii State Civil Defense Launch a Tsunami Awareness Program (TAP) Kit

September 19, 2012

The initial TAP implementation focuses on Oahu, but that is just a starting point for what is intended to be a broader, statewide multi-hazard awareness and education program. 

PDC’s Sharon Mielbrecht, Hazard Mitigation Specialist, provides a training demonstration to HSCD staff, community members, and a representative from City and County of Honolulu Department of Emergency Management.

In order to build resilience to the tsunami hazard in Hawaii, Pacific Disaster Center partnered with Hawaii State Civil Defense (HSCD) to develop the Tsunami Awareness Program (TAP)–Hawaii. The goal of the program is to enhance community resilience to the tsunami hazard through a facilitated education-and-outreach program that promotes hazard understanding and awareness, and offers tools and information resources to guide preparedness and response.

The program was developed with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s TsunamiReady program, and expands on existing tsunami awareness and preparedness resources to include Hawaii-specific examples, resources, and worksheets; and to provide instruction for their application. Instructional materials and resources supporting program implementation are organized into TAP Kits. Kit contents and a wealth of other information about the tsunami hazard and preparing for an emergency—some of it targeted to specific audiences—are available on the web at:

These are some of the materials in the instructors’ Kit for the Tsunami Awareness Program (TAP) Hawaii. 

TAP Kits support the community outreach activities of HSCD to promote tsunami awareness and strengthen the capacity of Hawaii residents to prepare for and respond to tsunami events. HSCD staff will facilitate the program initially as a pilot on Oahu, holding informational meetings and outreach events that answer common questions like: What is a tsunami? What causes a tsunami? What is Hawaii’s tsunami history? What warning system is in place for Hawaii? What do I do when a warning is issued? How do I prepare for a tsunami? And, where can I get more information?

Community leaders who are advocates for emergency preparedness in their communities can use the TAP resources, and will be given guidance by HSCD staff, so they can assist their communities in becoming TsunamiReady. TAP materials are designed to support communities in meeting each of the TsunamiReady program guidelines, such as promoting community preparedness and developing a tsunami operations plan. Expansion of the Tsunami Awareness Program to all islands, and development of similar resources for other hazards are currently in the planning stages.

To learn more about tsunamis for the safety of your family, start with these resources:
• Simple tsunami terminology, A to Z
• An extensive Tsunami Glossary in PDC’s Tsunami Awareness Kit
• General information and a video: Never Try to Surf a Tsunami
• Links to information about the Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 2004
• 7-point list of Tsunami Preparedness steps
• Libraries on tsunami and eight other natural hazards
• How parents can help kids learn about disaster preparedness.

More from Pacific Disaster Center

To keep yourself up-to-the-minute about hazards and disasters:

For the latest Weather and Disaster News, use the PDC Weather Wall.

While you are thinking of hazards, think of preparedness. PDC provides disaster preparedness information, including printable instructions for assembling a Disaster Supply Kit and rehearsing a Family Disaster Plan.

For more information on DisasterAWARETM products:

  • For details, see the Training Guide for Web-accessible Disaster Alert,
  • Read and understand more about custom versions, such as DMRS and VinAWARE,
  • Watch the ASEAN DMRS video on YouTube.

About PDC:

Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) envisions a safer, more secure world—where populations live in more disaster-resilient communities informed by science and technology, and equipped with sound decision support tools. To help make that vision a reality, PDC is dedicated to supporting evidence-based disaster risk reduction (DRR) efforts by providing actionable information and applications to the public and disaster managers worldwide. PDC, a program managed by the University of Hawaii, was established by the U.S. government in 1996.