Jamaica’s National Tsunami Awareness Campaign Launched

Kingston, Jamaica Tuesday April 19, 201 –The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency  (CDEMA) through the support of the Government of Australia (AusAid) today launched a national 5 day Public Awareness and Education (PAE) campaign. Public and private sector stakeholders including representatives from the media, the meteorological service, various government ministries, the tourism, shipping and transportation sectors were exposed to an intensive session highlighting their roles in disaster risk reduction directly related to tsunamis.

Today’s campaign implemented under the Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Early Warning System (TCHWS) Project Phase II was publicly launched in Kingston at the Courtleigh Hotel. The campaign messaging is being supported by sustained advertising in the print media, television, radio and via the internet. New media – a novel approach in PAE efforts is also being utilized along with SMS messaging through partnership with local telecommunication. Packaged tsunami specific information is being shared to ensure knowledge of the responses required from the various individuals should the tsunami hazard strike. The short term media campaign is complemented by a one day workshop hosted by ODPEM and facilitated by CDEMA.

Speaking on behalf of the ODPEM, Deputy Director General Mr. Richard Thompson in welcoming the participants mentioned the work being executed by ODPEM including the formalisation of the National Tsunami Protocol and accompanying Standard Operating Procedures. Mr. Thompson shared strategies for strengthening the regional and national mechanisms to support the tsunami early warning system. He highlighted the need for a continued emphasis on individual and community safety in mitigating risks associated with the hazard and maintained the ODPEM’s commitment to educating the public on all hazards.

Cassie Ann James, Senior Programme Officer at CDEMA indicated that the existing activities are part of a region wide thrust by CDEMA to heighten the levels of awareness, sensitise the public and reduce the risks of vulnerable coastal communities to the threats of tsunamis and other coastal hazards. Ms. James emphasized the role of partnerships and the need for sustained public awareness and education efforts in country to ensure an informed, educated and well prepared population.

Special mention was made of the Government of Australia, the Coastal Zone Management and the Seismic Research Center who all assisted in the advancement of the TCHWS project and finalization of many critical outputs that have bolstered the region’s capacity to respond to and manage the tsunami threat.

Donna Redman of Acute Vision who supported the campaign development shared with participants core concepts and adapted PAE materials for Jamaica.

For access to the products developed please select the following links:

For information on the AusAID supported Tsunami and other Coastal Hazards Warning System Project, please contact:
Dr. Virginia Clerveaux
Senior Programme Officer (SPO)
Haiti Technical Assistance Programme (HTAP) &
Government of Australia Disaster Risk Reduction Initiatives,
Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA),
Building #1 Manor Lodge Complex,
Lodge Hill, St. Michael, Barbados, W.I
Tel. (246) 425 0386 Ext. 237;
Cell (246) 269-5959;
Fax (246) 425 8854
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.cdema.org

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