UNDRR ROAC: WTAD - Premiere of the documentary Forget me not

Forget me not
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean
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09:00 - 10:30 EST


Tsunamis can be deadly, but they don't have to be. Early warning and early action are effective tools to protect people, save lives and prevent hazards from becoming a disaster. To be effective, tsunami early warning systems must cover all people at risk, they must be multi-hazard, and communities must be prepared to act quickly.

To do this, then, governance must be improved by significantly increasing the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies: target E of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. Countries that develop policies, legislative frameworks, an institutional architecture and corresponding investment vehicles for disaster risk reduction in line with objectives, targets and priorities of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction have a greater capacity to manage disaster risk. Such measures are evidence of a deep understanding of disaster risk and facilitate fuller and more active citizen participation in the development and implementation of both national and local disaster risk reduction strategies.

In December 2015, the United Nations General Assembly, through resolution A/ RES/70/203, designated November 5 as World Tsunami Awareness Day to promote a global culture of tsunami awareness and prevention. The General Assembly resolution calls for compliance by all countries and organizations of the United Nations system, other international and regional organizations and civil society to participate in the commemorations of this day; it also requests the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) to facilitate this celebration.

For Tsunami Day, we present a short documentary film that tells the story of an unexpected friendship across the ocean in Japan and Alaska, celebrating the strength and resilience of the survivors who helped their communities recover after the tsunami that struck Japan and the Pacific region in 2011. The 2011 tsunami in Japan took everything Miurasan owned, including her restaurant and the yellow float, named after her late husband.

A year later and 5,000 miles away in Alaska, David and Yumi Baxter found Miurasan's husband's float and offered to return it. When she heard the news, she imagined her husband crossing the ocean to help her through a difficult time. That gave Miurasan the strength to reopen her restaurant. The Baxters traveled to join her in Japan and she also visited them in Alaska. They became her new family. Forget me not is a short film about the story of that extraordinary connection across the ocean. The 15-minute video was produced by Emiliano Rodriguez Nuesch in Pacifico.

Tsunami Messages is a continuation of the Tsunami Ladies documentary series, which explores the role of women in post-disaster recovery. The project is part of the UNDRR Sendai Commitment.

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