SOURCE: SurfAid International

SurfAid International

August 26, 2011 08:00 ET

SurfAid Prepares Communities for Earthquakes/Tsunamis in the Mentawai Islands

Malibu Benefit September 9th to Aid SurfAid's Emergency Response and Preparedness Programs

MALIBU, CA--(Marketwire - Aug 26, 2011) - Humanitarian organization SurfAid International was a lead agency in the emergency response to the Mentawai Islands tsunami that struck nearly 10 months ago on October 25, 2010 -- its fifth emergency in the region.

More than 500 people died in the disaster and 15,000 were displaced from their homes and SurfAid continues to play a leading role in the recovery program.

Experts however predict a much larger earthquake and tsunami for the Sumatran region that could nearly rival the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) Director Kerry Sieh and his colleagues predict that an earthquake of up to magnitude 8.8 can be expected off the western coast of Sumatra within a few decades.

After the 2004 tsunami, SurfAid started an Emergency Preparedness Program, which has since won awards. SurfAid founder Dr Dave Jenkins highlighted the importance of SurfAid's long-term commitment to community preparation for natural disasters instead of focusing solely on disaster response.

"It's important that we prepare the coastal communities in the islands. The Mentawai tsunami last October clearly demonstrated how our emergency preparedness work acts as a powerful life saver," Dr Jenkins said. "While more than 500 people died, we lost only nine people in villages where we had worked. After the earthquake people in our villages escaped quickly to the hills along prepared tracks and in an efficient manner thanks to the drills we had facilitated."

SurfAid's fundraising event in Malibu on September 9th will not only lend important support to these programs but also highlight the SurfAid Schools Program, supported by Billabong. This US-based program uses the story of SurfAid and its disaster relief programs to provide a real world context for learning through global citizenship and service-learning.

The SurfAid Schools Program works with local teachers to integrate the story of SurfAid into their curriculum using global citizenship themes and offers free downloadable online curriculum units across all subject areas. The Malibu Behind the Palms event will launch the program's most recent addition, the Surf 'n' Serve events. At the SurfAid Schools Program monthly Surf 'n' Serve events, families, teachers and students can enjoy free surf lessons, and participate in a service-learning activity at their local beach.

At Behind the Palms: Malibu, Dr Dave Jenkins will give an update of SurfAid's tsunami recovery activities. Donavon Frankenreiter will graciously lend his support by headlining a full evening of fundraising sponsored by the likes of Patrón, Billabong and more. The event is timed as the Friday night celebration of the Malibu Surfing Association (MSA) Classic and will provide important support for SurfAid's critical work dedicated to improving the health, wellbeing and self-reliance of people living in isolated regions connected to us through surfing. It will also feature a special screening of Behind the Palms: 10 Years of SurfAid.

All are invited to come support SurfAid's work in the Mentawai Islands and their newest addition, the SurfAid Schools Program.

Behind the Palms: Malibu -- A Benefit for SurfAid
Date: Friday, September 9, 2011
Time: 6 - 10 pm
Location: Malibu Market & Design -- 25001 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265
$50 - advance purchase • $25 - 16 & under • $60 - door purchase

Dr Dave Jenkins will be available for interviews
SurfAid founder and medical director, Dr Dave Jenkins, is available for interviews. Contact info above.

Attached photos:
1) Dr Dave Jenkins treats a Mentawai woman. Photo: Bob Barker/SurfAid
2) A Mentawai girl carries emergency SurfAid supplies after the October tsunami. Photo: Michael Lawrence/SurfAid

About SurfAid International
SurfAid International is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the health, wellbeing and self-reliance of people living in isolated regions connected to us through surfing. SurfAid's community-based health programs involve education in nutrition, hygiene, healthy environments and disease prevention -- including mosquito net distribution. SurfAid has built an award-winning capacity in emergency preparedness and has delivered five emergency response programs following major disasters, including the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and the October 2010 Mentawai tsunami. To learn more about SurfAid go to or call 760-753-1103.

About SurfAid Schools Program
The SurfAid International Schools Program, supported by Billabong, is a global education program for students in the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. The program provides an exciting learning opportunity and educates students about the people of the Mentawai Island region. It encourages the development of global citizenship and a sense of social responsibility, along with an understanding of how we, as individuals, can make a difference in our world. To learn more about how to bring the SurfAid Schools Program to schools and view the Surf 'n' Serve event schedule go to:

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Teresa Earle
    SurfAid International
    Mobile: 310-529-7718
    Office: 760-753-1103
    Email Contact