The Pillowcase Project Learn. Practice. Share.

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1 The Pillowcase Project Learn. Practice. Share. local hazard resource Tsunami Preparedness Learning Objectives Students will be able to explain what causes tsunamis and what happens during a tsunami. Students will be able to explain what to do during a tsunami WATCH and a tsunami WARNING. Students will learn how to recognize a tsunami and the best ways to stay safe when one occurs. Key Facts for Presenters A tsunami (soo-nah-mee) is a series of waves that can cause dangerous surges of water along the shorlines. The word tsunami is Japanese for harbor (tsu) wave (nami). Most tsunamis are caused by earthquakes under the ocean. The energy released from the earthquake pushes the entire column of ocean water and sends waves rushing through the ocean until they finally run up on shore. Tsunamis can also be caused by a volcano erupting under the ocean, a big landslide into the ocean, or a meteorite impact into the ocean. Tsunamis are most common along the Pacific Ocean, which is the most geologically active region of the Earth, but they can occur in any ocean waters. Tsunamis move through open ocean waters at up to 450 miles per hour but slow down greatly as they reach shore, producing waves from a few inches to several meters high. The shape of the land (i.e., local topography) can focus the tsunami, causing inundation at much higher levels and extending miles inland. A tsunami can batter the coastline for hours or days. Tsunamis can strike within minutes of a nearby earthquake or hours after an earthquake that may be thousands of miles away. Official warning systems usually alert us to tsunamis. Scientists monitor geological activity in the Pacific (and all oceans) for signs of a tsunami and issue a tsunami ADVISORY when a tsunami capable of producing strong currents or dangerous waves is expected. Officials issue a tsunami WATCH when they detect an earthquake that could generate a tsunami. They issue a tsunami WARNING when tide-gauge data indicate that a tsunami has been generated by the earthquake and danger is imminent. WARNING announcements include predicted tsunami arrival times for coastal communities that are at risk. Families who live near a coastline should find out their home s height above sea level and distance from the shore, and ask local officials if they are inside or outside a tsunami inundation zone. During a tsunami WATCH, families should listen for news about the situation and prepare to evacuate. During a tsunami WARNING, families who live within a designated tsunami inundation zone should evacuate immediately as far inland as possible to an area clearly designated as outside the tsunami inundation zone. Families should plan ahead to reach this safe location on foot within 15 minutes. 1

2 Key Facts for Presenters (continued) Natural signs are usually our only warning of a tsunami coming from close by. Any coastal earthquake that lasts a very long time or is strong enough to knock you off your feet should be considered the warning sign of a tsunami. Immediately Drop, Cover, and Hold On to protect yourself from the earthquake. Then, once the shaking stops, move away from the coastline immediately as far inland as possible to an area clearly designated as outside the tsunami inundation zone. A sudden change of water level can also be a sign that a tsunami is coming. If you see either a sudden fall in the water level that exposes the seafloor or a sudden rise in the water level that covers the shoreline, move away from the coastline immediately as far inland as possible to an area clearly designated as outside the tsunami inundation zone. Many people have reported that the ocean makes an unusual roaring noise when a tsunami is approaching shore. If the ocean sounds strange, anticipate a tsunami and move away from the coastline immediately as far inland as possible to an area clearly designated as outside the tsunami inundation zone. Never attempt to observe a tsunami. If you can see the waves, you are too close for safety. Continue moving farther inland to an area clearly designated as outside the tsunami inundation zone. 2

3 Presenter Notes ÎÎCan anyone tell us what is a tsunami? script Explain what a tsunami is: ÎÎIn the movies, they sometimes make a tsunami look like one gigantic wave that comes crashing onto the shore. But a tsunami is really a series of very big, very powerful waves that roll up onto the shore and keep coming, sometimes for hours or even days, flooding everything for miles and miles. ÎÎDoes anyone know what causes a tsunami? Explain how a tsunami is formed: ÎÎMost tsunamis are caused by an earthquake under the ocean, although they can also be caused by a volcano erupting under the ocean, or a big landslide into the ocean, or even a meteorite smashing into the ocean. ÎÎWhen a tsunami is caused by an earthquake, the earthquake gives the ocean water a big push from underneath, and that push turns into waves that ripple through the ocean until they end up crashing onto the shore. ÎÎTsunamis travel fast out in the ocean up to 450 miles per hour (almost as fast as an airplane) so they can hit just a few minutes after an earthquake that is close by. But tsunamis also travel very far across the ocean, so that a tsunami in one place might be caused by an earthquake that is actually thousands of miles away. ÎÎOnce the tsunami gets near the coastline, it starts to slow down and get taller. By the time it hits the shore, the waves can be more than 50 feet high. And remember, a tsunami is not just one wave it s a series of waves that can last for hours or even days, and it can cause flooding for miles beyond the shore. ÎÎWhy do people in our area need to be prepared for tsunamis? Explain how to be prepared for a tsunami: ÎÎThat s right! Anyone who lives close to the ocean needs to be prepared for a tsunami. And anyone who comes to the ocean for a vacation or a day at the beach should learn how to be prepared for a tsunami too. ÎÎIn the United States, most tsunamis happen along the Pacific coast. That s because there are more earthquakes and volcanoes under the Pacific Ocean than in any other part of the world. Î Î Scientists track every earthquake under the Pacific (and all other oceans) to find out if it might cause a tsunami. They issue a tsunami WATCH when they detect an earthquake that might cause a tsunami. During a tsunami WATCH, you should listen to the news so you know what s happening and get ready to leave home for higher ground if a tsunami is headed your way. 3

4 ÎÎWhen scientists see that an earthquake has created one of those fast-moving waves out in the ocean, they issue a tsunami WARNING, telling people where they think the tsunami will hit and how soon it will arrive. If you live in that danger zone, you should leave home immediately when you hear a tsunami WARNING and move away from the coast as fast and as far as possible, on foot if you have to. ÎÎYour household can be extra prepared for a tsunami WARNING by finding out how high above sea level and how far from the shore you live. A grownup can then ask officials in your community if you are living inside a tsunami danger zone. If you are, find out where you should go to get outside the danger zone fast. Many coastline communities have designated areas where people can go to get away from a tsunami. Plan ahead to reach the safe area closest to you on foot within 15 minutes after you hear a tsunami WARNING. If students have already learned about earthquake preparedness, call on a volunteer to demonstrate Drop, Cover, and Hold On, or have the whole group demonstrate at their desks. Explain how to anticipate a tsunami caused by a nearby earthquake: ÎÎEven though scientists are always on the lookout for tsunamis, we need to be on the lookout too. Remember how I told you that a tsunami can hit just a few minutes after a nearby earthquake? That s not enough time for scientists to put out a tsunami WARNING. So if you re near the ocean and feel an earthquake that lasts a long time or knocks you down, you should expect that a tsunami is on the way. ÎÎWhat do you think you should do? Explain how to stay safe during a tsunami caused by a nearby earthquake: ÎÎVery smart! This is a double-emergency situation. First you have to protect yourself from the earthquake. To do that, you should Drop, Cover, and Hold On. Demonstrate how to avoid injury during an earthquake: ÎÎDROP down to the floor wherever you are. When the ground is shaking, it s dangerous to try to walk or run you could fall and hurt yourself. It s safer to DROP onto the floor right where you are. ÎÎThen crawl under the nearest COVER you can see a table or a chair or a desk anything that will protect you from the stuff that falls down during an earthquake. ÎÎAnd once you re under your cover, HOLD ON to it. Everything shakes in an earthquake, and your cover might start moving away from you, but if you hold on, you ll stay under your cover no matter where it goes. Explain how to avoid injury from an approaching tsunami: Î Î So, you Drop, Cover, and Hold On to get through the earthquake emergency. Then, after the shaking stops, get away from the coastline as fast as you can to get out of the way of the tsunami. Just head for higher ground and keep going as far as you can. Don t stop to try and watch the tsunami if you can see the waves, you re still too close. Keep heading for higher ground or to a designated safe area in your community. 4

5 Presenter Notes script ÎÎNow, what about those tsunamis that are caused by earthquakes far away? How do we know when they re coming? Explain how to anticipate a tsunami caused by a distant earthquake: ÎÎThat s right! Scientists usually warn us about tsunamis that come from far away. But you can be on the lookout too. If you see the ocean pull way back from the shore, exposing the seafloor, that s a sign that a tsunami might be on the way. Or if you see the ocean suddenly come up farther onto the beach, so that it looks like the beach is getting smaller, that s a sign that a tsunami could be coming your way too. And some people have heard the ocean make a strange roaring sound when a tsunami is coming, so if the ocean starts sounding strange to you, that could be a sign that a tsunami is on the way. ÎÎAnd what do we do when there s a chance of a tsunami? Prompt students to respond: ÎÎWe get away from the coastline as fast as we can and head for higher ground! Lead students in one of the Practice Activities below. ÎÎSo, are you ready to practice what we ve learned about being prepared for a tsunami? Lead students in one of the Sharing Activities below. ÎÎNow let s share what we ve learned. Wrap-up with a review: ÎÎWhere do most tsunamis happen in the United States? A: Along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean. ÎÎWhat should you do when there s a tsunami WARNING? A: Move away from the coastline as fast as possible and head for higher ground. ÎÎWhen is it safe to stop and watch a tsunami? A: Never! If you can see the waves, you re too close for safety. Keep heading for higher ground. Transition: Î Î So, now you re better prepared for tsunamis. But remember, you need to share what you ve learned to help everyone be prepared. So later today, tell a friend what to do if you feel an earthquake near the coastline. Even better, when you go home, share what you ve learned and make a plan to stay safe if a tsunami comes your way. 5

6 Tsunami Practice Activities Practice Dash Divide students into teams of 5-6 for a take-off on Jeopardy. Explain that you will read an answer and that the student teams will compete by having one team member race toward you for the chance to give the correct question. The first student to arrive gives the question and wins a point for his/her team if correct, or loses a point if incorrect. Encourage the students to figure out the correct question as a team before sending their runner toward you. Example answers and questions: 1. An earthquake under the ocean What causes most tsunamis? 2. Tsunami WATCH 3. Tsunami WARNING 4. Within 15 minutes 5. Drop, Cover, and Hold On, then head for higher ground 6. The ocean pulls away from the shore What emergency alert tells you that a dangerous tsunami might happen soon? What emergency alert tells you that a dangerous tsunami will happen soon, and where and when it is expected to hit. How quickly should you be able to reach a safe area on foot after you hear a tsunami WARNING? How should you protect yourself when you feel an earthquake near the ocean? What s one sign that a tsunami might be on the way? Drop, Cover, and Hold On Remind students that an earthquake near the coastline can cause a tsunami. Tell them that you are going to create a pretend earthquake near the coastline (you might name a place in your area to make the activity more relevant) to help them practice for the real thing. Start shaking slightly while you make make bangning noises on their desks and say, I think I hear a rumbling! Earthquake! Have the students Drop, Cover, and Hold On while you and your team add more sound effects (e.g., Wham! The whole bookcase tipped over. Smash! Now the windows are breaking. Bang! I think that was a tree falling outside. ) You can also flicker and turn off the lights to simulate the loss of power. After about 30 seconds, call out, OK, the shaking has stopped, but stay under cover a little longer just to be sure. Then say, OK, it s safe to come out now. Is everyone all right? Check yourself and your neighbors. Everyone OK? Continue by asking, OK, remember that we re near the ocean. What should we do next? Prompt the group to respond: We get away from the coastline as fast as we can and head for higher ground! 6

7 Tsunami Sharing Activities Coping Skills Activity Use the following story to set up your transition to the Coping Skills part of the presentation. Read the story aloud and ask for ideas on what Tony could teach Maria to help her handle her worries about what might happen during an tsunami. Use the answer list below and/or the Coping Skills poster to generate ideas. Then continue on to the Coping Skills part of the presentation by using the poster to define coping skills. (Note: If time permits, you can use the Sharing Activity worksheet at the end of this Resource to have students discuss this situation in small groups on their own and then share their ideas in a follow-up discussion.) Worried about Waves Tony and his family live in a town where people have to be prepared for tsunamis. They know that their house is in a tsunami danger zone, and they practice getting to a safe area far away from the ocean within 15 minutes if they hear a tsunami warning. But this summer, Tony s cousin Maria is coming to stay for a few weeks, and Maria has only seen tsunamis in the movies. She s worried about what might happen if a tsunami hits the town while she is visiting. She has already asked Tony what it s like to see a gigantic wave wash cars down the street. Luckily, Tony learned a lot about tsunami preparedness from The Pillowcase Project. We even talked about feeling worried, he told Maria. Lots of people feel worried or scared when they think about what might happen in an emergency, even grownups. But there are ways to handle those feelings they re called coping skills and you can figure out good coping skills BEFORE an emergency happens! What could Tony teach Maria to help her cope with her thoughts and feelings about what might happen during a tsunami? Answer: Taking slow breaths to calm down when you feel worried or scared. Sticking with a buddy so you don t feel alone. Singing a favorite song or picturing a favorite story, so you don t think so much about feeling scared. Reminding yourself how sticking together helps everyone get through a tough situation. Reminding yourself of what you have done to get through tough situations in the past. Remembering that Tony s family is prepared for tsunamis and will show Maria what to do if there is a tsunami warning. Listening to grownups for other ways to help each other feel safe. Note: Some students may suggest giving thanks as a coping skill (e.g., Be thankful that you are OK), but this reaction can sometimes inhibit successful coping by masking the real impact of an emergency. Acknowledge this suggestion, but do not push students in this direction. 7

8 Tsunami Sharing Activities (continued) Problem-Solving Activity Divide students into small groups and distribute the Sharing Activity worksheet. Read the activity aloud and have students brainstorm ideas in their groups. Call on each group to share its ideas, then lead a whole group discussion based on the answer provided below. Tilly s Story Not long ago, a little girl named Tilly Smith was on vacation with her family in Thailand. One day, while she was sitting on the beach, Tilly noticed that the ocean water was coming much farther up the beach than it had a few minutes before. Tilly ran to her mother. There s a tsunami coming, she said, We have to get away from the beach! Tilly s mother had never heard of a tsunami, but Tilly had learned about tsunamis from her teacher at school. She kept saying, We have to get away, until finally her family ran back to tell the hotel staff what Tilly had seen. The hotel staff knew about tsunamis, and they quickly spread the alarm, telling everyone to move away from the ocean as fast and as far as possible. Thanks to Tilly, by the time the tsunami arrived, there was no one within miles of the beach, and no one was hurt when the tsunami crashed onto the shore. How did sharing help save the day in Tilly s story? Make a list of all the people in the story who shared what they had learned about tsunamis. Then keep the sharing going by listing three people you can share Tilly s story with today. Answer: Help students recognize that a chain of sharing runs through Tilly s Story: Tilly s teacher Tilly Tilly s mother Tilly s family the beach resort staff all the people on the beach. This chain continues through the students themselves, who can extend the chain by sharing Tilly s Story with family and friends. Make sure to remind students that the most important action Tilly took was telling the grown-ups and asking them to take an action. 8

9 The Pillowcase Project Learn. Practice. Share. Reproducible worksheet Tsunami Preparedness Sharing Activities Read the activity assigned to your group. Talk with each other about how you could answer the question, and take notes in the space provided. Be ready to share your ideas with the class. Then join in the discussion to decide on the best way to answer the question. Worried about Waves Tony and his family live in a town where people have to be prepared for tsunamis. They know that their house is in a tsunami danger zone, and they practice getting to a safe area far away from the ocean within 15 minutes if they hear a tsunami warning. But this summer, Tony s cousin Maria is coming to stay for a few weeks, and Maria has only seen tsunamis in the movies. She s worried about what might happen if a tsunami hits the town while she is visiting. She has already asked Tony what it s like to see a gigantic wave wash cars down the street. Luckily, Tony learned a lot about tsunami preparedness from The Pillowcase Project. We even talked about feeling worried, he told Maria. Lots of people feel worried or scared when they think about what might happen in an emergency, even grownups. But there are ways to handle those feelings they re called coping skills and you can figure out good coping skills BEFORE an emergency happens! What could Tony teach Maria to help her cope with her thoughts and feelings about what might happen during a tsunami? Tilly s Story Not long ago, a little girl named Tilly Smith was on vacation with her family in Thailand. One day, while she was sitting on the beach, Tilly noticed that the ocean water was coming much farther up the beach than it had a few minutes before. Tilly ran to her mother. There s a tsunami coming, she said, We have to get away from the beach! Tilly s mother had never heard of a tsunami, but Tilly had learned about tsunamis from her teacher at school. She kept saying, We have to get away, until finally her family ran back to tell the hotel staff what Tilly had seen. The hotel staff knew about tsunamis, and they quickly spread the alarm, telling everyone to move away from the ocean as fast and as far as possible. Thanks to Tilly, by the time the tsunami arrived, there was no one within miles of the beach, and no one was hurt when the tsunami crashed onto the shore. How did sharing help save the day in Tilly s story? Make a list of all the people in the story who shared what they had learned about tsunamis. Then keep the sharing going by listing three people you can share Tilly s story with today.

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