The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre’s (UWI-SRC)’s 2019 submission focused on addressing misconceptions around one of the Caribbean’s most visited volcanoes, the Soufriѐre Volcanic Centre, St. Lucia. Two videos, one for the general public (My Island Story: St Lucia) and another for local authorities (Island VIBES), were created to help persons better understand some unique aspects of this volcano and provide basic tips on coping with volcanic eruptions respectively.
The UWI-SRC team used experiences during routine outreach, followed by extensive stakeholder engagement to tailor the films to the two audiences. This helped the team to understand common misconceptions they wanted to address. It also captured the needs of those decision-makers and first responders who would be called on during any activity.
With ‘My Island Story’ they wanted to make a film about St Lucia by St Lucians so partnered from the outset with the St Lucia National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO and the Soufriere Regional Development Fund (SRDF). A Vox pop format was used where ordinary St. Lucians were asked questions about their volcano. The questions were drafted by the UWI-SRC team and asked by locals on camera. Questions were a combination of those usually received during outreach campaigns and ones gotten from the resident survey.
The second video tool, Island ViBES, caters to emergency management decision makers and first responders. This product required less attention during production as this was by and large a refresh of existing material. During filming, the emphasis here was to capture footage of volcanic features around St. Lucia to provide visual aids during the simulation exercise presented in the video. Aspects of daily life on the island were also captured to create an authentic context for this teaching tool.
In early November 2019 a three person UWI-SRC team spent one week in St. Lucia filming both videos. Volcanologist Dr. Erouscilla Joseph and E&O staff Thais Ramos and Omari Graham oversaw shooting. Pixcel Video, a local video production company was contracted to film and edit both products.
My Island Vibes can be found here and was launched in August 2020. When COVID restrictions are lifted the team plan to use reamaining funds to evaluate the films: so watch this space!