IOC is strongly engaged in reducing the risk posed by tsunamis and other extreme sea-level events such as coastal flooding and storm surges. As coastal development continues at a rapid pace, increasing the vulnerability of coastal populations, IOC seeks to encourage communities to implement effective mitigating measures and become aware both of the hazards they face and the most effective ways to respond.
The IOC Tsunami Programme supports IOC Member States in assessing tsunami risk, implementing Tsunami Early Warning Systems (EWS) and in educating communities at risk about preparedness measures. It is essential that nations have access to the necessary information for early detection of and coastal adaptation planning against ocean-related hazards. Through its four Intergovernmental Coordination Groups (ICGs) – for the Pacific, Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Mediterranean regions – and the International Tsunami Information Centre, IOC coordinates regional meetings, capacity building activities and operational exercises for early warning against tsunamis.
IOC is also committed to mobilizing communities at risk around the actions that need to be undertaken in case of eminent danger. That means assisting Member States at the national and sub-national levels in launching public awareness campaigns, designing Standard Operating Protocols, identifying evacuation routes and organizing evacuation drills. Community-based approaches and traditional coping mechanisms are taken into consideration in order to meet the needs and concerns of all individuals at risks.