Comic book explains how to prepare for a tsunami

Comic book aimed at tsunami preparedness

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Are you ready if an earthquake or tsunami hits?

To help folks get ready for a natural disaster, state leaders with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management have partnered up with local comic book company, Dark Horse Comics.

The ‘Without Warning: Tsunami’ comic book looks like any other comic might.

“It starts out with Matty and her mother…going on a camping trip,” said Shantel LaRocque, an associate editor for Dark Horse Comics.

But the illustrations have a greater purpose. They communicate an important message.

“It talks about tsunami preparedness, what to do in the event of a tsunami how to create emergency plans,” LaRocque said.

The comic book lays out important tips, such as sticking to high land or texting family members in an emergency rather than calling because a text message is more likely to go through.

“[It] talks about the dangers of tsunami waves and how the first one may not be the biggest,” said LaRocque.

It even shows a safe way to drink water.

“They recommend the filter straw,” she added.

LaRocque said comic books are an effective way to get the message across to younger people.

“Why they're so great is they're accessible to everybody. People who don't like to read can pick it up and the pictures tell the story for them,” said LaRocque. “It's a way to get them the information they need in a fun way."

“It's something that anybody can pick up and read,” said Jon Bornemeier, a Milwaukie resident. “It's definitely helpful to get accustomed to the idea that if this is an emergency that happens, then this is how you respond."

About 25,000 copies of the comic have been printed. Most of them are in English, some are in Spanish. They will be distributed at schools across the state and also be available online.

On the back of the comic, they've included a list of things to put in an emergency kit.

This is the second time Dark Horse and the Oregon Office of Emergency Management have partnered up. The first time, they created a comic book about being prepared for an earthquake. It came out in 2014 and was funded by FEMA. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is footing the bill for the current comic.



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