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Full circle: returning the power of oral history to the community of Big Lagoon, California through tsunami education and planning

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Title: Full circle: returning the power of oral history to the community of Big Lagoon, California through tsunami education and planning
Author: Fairchild, Kathleen Sullivan
Abstract: In the last decade, we have become very aware of tsunami and the danger they pose for coastal communities. My research revealed a rich oral history of tsunami from the Yurok, Chetco and Tolowa tribes who still reside along the northwest coasts of California and Oregon. Geologic evidence of the area further supports these tsunami stories. The oral history of tsunami was an important tool of survival education within these tribes. Inspired by the Native American stories and the recent tsunami disasters, my project focused on creating an education campaign in tsunami awareness, planning and hazard reduction in the community of Big Lagoon. In association with the Redwood Coast Tsunami Work Group (RCTWG), I initiated contact with members and agencies in the Big Lagoon community including Big Lagoon Rancheria, Big Lagoon School, Big Lagoon Park Company and Big Lagoon County Park to begin the process of public education, mapping out and testing the best evacuation routes for each area, installing warning signage and holding community evacuation drills. During all phases of the project, I employed avenues of modern story-telling, including pamphlets, articles in newspapers, and internet and television coverage to get the word out to the local community and the community at large. Due to these grassroots efforts, the community of Big Lagoon now has a greater awareness of tsunami, knowledge of safe locations and routes to reach them and consistent evacuation route signage. Through the process of the TsunamiReady program (a trademark of the National Weather Service) the Big Lagoon community was declared a TsunamiReady community by the Eureka, California branch of the National Weather Service on March 26, 2010.
Description: Thesis (M.A.)--Humboldt State University, Social Science: Environment and Community, 2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2148/1261
Date: 2012-12

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  • Masters Theses [874]
    A collection of selected Masters Theses in electronic format.

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