The Tsunami Ready programme seeks to build resilient communities through awareness and preparedness strategies that will protect life, livelihoods, and property from tsunamis in different regions. The main goal of the programme is to improve coastal community preparedness for tsunamis and to minimize the loss of life, livelihoods, and property. This is achieved through a collaborative effort to meet a standard level of tsunami preparedness through the fulfilment of a set of established indicators. The Tsunami Ready programme is implemented as a voluntary, performance-based community recognition programme that promotes an understanding of the concept of readiness as an active collaboration among national and local warning and emergency management agencies and government authorities, scientists, community leaders, and the public.
Although communities can be recognized as being ‘Tsunami Ready’, this recognition does not imply approval or promise that a community can or will perform at a certain level in case of tsunami. Tsunami Ready recognition does not mean that a community is tsunami proof; it is rather the acknowledgement and recognition that a community has adopted mitigation measures to cope with their tsunami risk.
On a national scale, the programme needs to be supported by national policy, procedures, and mechanism. In India, a National Tsunami Ready Board has been established by the Ministry of Earth Sciences. This board is not only responsible for advocating and directing the implementation of Tsunami Ready in the country but also for linking this initiative with tsunami exercises at the national level as well as the IOWave exercise that is organized regionally by the ICG/IOTWMS biennially. The Indian Tsunami Ready Board has successfully nominated two villages in India that received UNESCO-IOC Tsunami Ready recognition.
On an even more local scale, the Tsunami Ready programme is set up in total partnership with local populations and considering the specificity of each community. For example, in Tamarindo, a touristic town in Costa Rica, the National Tsunami Monitoring System (SINAMOT) and the Integral Development Association of Tamarindo are working together to develop a preparedness system not only for locals to feel safe but also, from an economical point of view, as it attracts tourists who feel safe visiting areas that have been recognized Tsunami Ready. In Grenada, in the Caribbean, the two (2) parishes of St. Patrick, as well as Carriacou and Petite Martinique have been recognized as Tsunami Ready communities. These communities are not only vulnerable to earthquake sourced tsunamis, but also tsunamis generated from an eruption of the submarine volcano “Kick ‘Em Jenny” located between 9km - 38km offshore. Preparation for local tsunamis was emphasized throughout the nomination process.
Therefore, Tsunami Ready is a multiscale programme that demands efforts from officials and locals from around the globe to save lives in communities prone to tsunami risk. To support effective implementation of the Tsunami Ready programme, UNESCO/IOC has developed and published Standard Guidelines for the Tsunami Ready Recognition Programme (IOC Manuals and Guides, 74), currently available in English, French, and Spanish. In addition, a Tsunami Ready Viewer has been created to provide a map of communities that are recognized or are officially seeking recognition as Tsunami Ready. Finally, to connect minds and techniques different conferences have been organized to discuss about tsunami hazards and Tsunami Ready like lecture series and trainings.