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Lafayette College

Publication Date

Spring 2012

Program Name

Samoa: Pacific Communities and Social Change


In light of the 2009 tsunami, this study has compiled information about current initiatives that educate Samoans about the dangers of natural disasters and measures they can take to be safe during tsunamis and has assessed the strengths and weaknesses of these disaster education programs. The researcher examined the public education system, the media, the Women’s Committees and the Disaster Management Office’s new Community Disaster and Risk Management Program to learn about the different groups that disseminate disaster safety information to the larger community. In order to evaluate Samoa’s current level of awareness about natural disaster safety, the researcher conducted 100 surveys from a random sample of Samoan adults. The results from the survey found that the majority of Samoans know how to act in a tsunami in order to stay safe and that the most popular sources for learning this information are schools, television and radio. The study concluded that in addition to the programming of the Disaster Management Office, pre-established social structures, such as Women’s Committees and government schools, and the media are effective avenues for disseminating disaster information. A wide variety of disaster preparedness programming provides many different populations within Samoa the disaster mitigation and response education necessary for the country to be adequately prepared for the next natural disaster.


Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration


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