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HEMA expands outreach with translated tsunami PSA

HONOLULU – The Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) has released an animated tsunami PSA with new closed captioning in Japanese and Tagalog, expanding the resources available to prepare all Hawai‘i residents and visitors for one of the most dangerous threats our state faces.

The new version of the public service announcement was issued last week as part of HI-EMA’s Tsunami Awareness Month campaign. The public awareness campaign is part of the HI-EMA’s goal to prepare all those in Hawaiʻi to protect lives, property, and the environment against hazards, including those residents and visitors whose first language is not English.

The HI-EMA is airing the PSA throughout the month of April on KIKU TV, a multicultural television station with programming in Japanese and Tagalog. The 30-second spot originally was released in 2021 in English and Hawaiian language versions and highlights the need to understand nature’s warning signs of a tsunami.

One in nine persons in Hawaiʻi has Limited English Proficiency (LEP). When information on preparedness is available only in English, the LEP population may be less able to protect life and property from a natural or human-caused emergency. HI-EMA has an ongoing effort to expand the resources available in languages other than English, providing greater access to vital preparedness information.

“A landslide or earthquake in Hawai‘i could create a tsunami that arrives on our shores in just minutes, maybe even too quickly to sound the sirens. That makes it vital that everyone – no matter what language they may speak – knows the signs of a tsunami,” said Luke Meyers, Administrator of the HI-EMA.

“The message of Tsunami Awareness Month is for all of us who live, work or play by the the coastlines in the state,” Meyers added. “Having readily available resources in languages other than English will help ensure that everyone has the tools they need to preserve life and protect property.”

HI-EMA expects to release additional disaster-preparedness resources this summer in more than a dozen languages, in both printed and digital formats, and plans to work with community leaders to ensure they reach anyone who needs them.

While the colorful video PSA is narrated in English with subtitles, it speaks of a more universal language that is important for all Hawaiʻi residents and visitors to understand – the language of nature.

The primary message of the PSA is that the land, and the ocean speak to us if we learn to feel, see, and hear nature’s warning signs.

If you are on the beach or near the shore and feel the ground shaking, if you notice the ocean recede from the shore suddenly, or you hear a deep rumbling noise coming from the sea, evacuate immediately to high ground and wait for officials to tell you when it is safe to return to shore.

Viewers can see the PSA througout the month of April during Japanese and Tagalog programming on KIKU-TV. The videos, including the English and Hawaiian versions are available on the HI-EMA website and YouTube channel.
Source: The Garden Island

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