Educating Children to the Tsunami Risk

Disaster preparedness is important, and it is hard to get the message out and to motivate people to act. Research has shown, however, that teaching children can help educate their parents. In an effort to help raise awareness of earthquake and tsunami risk in the North Coast region, the Commission partnered with Humboldt State University for a project to deliver preparedness information to elementary school students and their families.

The project design includes the development of a web-based interactive earthquake and tsunami education program, which includes curriculum and preparedness information that will fit into the current state teaching framework and address the priority needs in the State for earthquake and tsunami outreach. Professor Lori Dengler, one of the lead researchers on the project, was recently recognized for her exceptional leadership as a scientist, writer, educator, and advocate of tsunami research and preparedness with the 2017 Frank Press Public Service Award by the Seismological Society of America (SSA).

School districts in both Humboldt and Del Norte counties are using the children’s book, The Extraordinary Voyage of the Kanome, written by Professor Dengler, for a web-based interactive earthquake and tsunami education program, to deliver earthquake and tsunami preparedness information to elementary school-aged students and their families. The book has been reprinted in English as well as Spanish. An update of this project was presented to the SSC at the January 2017 SSC meeting and the project is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2018.