This project received National Emergency Management Projects funding in 2010-11 and 2012-13.
Following the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, the Australian, State and Territory Governments developed and implemented the Australian Tsunami Warning System and an associated public education program. However, community focussed research conducted between 2005 and 2011 determined that while warnings were reaching the public and media, there remained a lack of understanding regarding the tsunami hazard, the risks to the Australian coastline and what to do when a warning is issued.
To address these concerns, the Australian Tsunami Working Group developed, and is implementing, the National Tsunami Community Education Strategy. The Strategy aims to:
- enhance community knowledge about the tsunami hazard, the national Australian tsunami warning system and its capabilities and limitations
- enhance community resilience by improving preparedness levels so that individuals and communities may respond more effectively to tsunami warnings, and
- support better informed and resourced State/Territory emergency services for delivery of community education.
Phase One of the project, undertaken in 2010-11, included an audit of tsunami education in Australia and identified some significant issues around the public perception and understanding of tsunami threats to Australia. A Strategic Plan, covering five to ten years, was developed which detailed community education concepts, resources and delivery mechanisms.
Phase Two of the project, to be undertaken in 2012-13, involves the part implementation of activities identified in the Strategic Plan. These activities include the development of:
- an online resource or tool kit to be used by individuals, communities, media, teachers, local councils, volunteer organisations and emergency managers
- a social media presence, and
- education/promotion activities.
The products developed through this project will be nationally applicable, and provide nationally consistent, engaging, and accessible tsunami information.