Petra Nemcova opens up about Japan's tsunami during 'Dancing With the Stars' rehearsals

petra-nemcova-dwts-520.jpg Petra Nemcova, the 31-year-old model and Season 12 "Dancing With the Stars" contestant, may be best known for the trials she endured during the Dec. 2004 tsunami in Thailand.

Nemcova lost her boyfriend, photographer Simon Atlee, broke her pelvis and had to cling to a palm tree for a reported 8 hours before being rescued. Needless to say, the timing of her turn on "DWTS" with the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan has had the model opening up about the past.

"When I looked at those videos, it's very hard to look at them," she says, speaking with Access Hollywood. "What's the hard part [for me, is] seeing people trying to escape in their cars and knowing that this can be prevented. And a lot of people don't know how to recognize a tsunami, what to do, what to do during an earthquake and the simple disaster preparedness education is not applied anywhere."

She's been kept in the loop, in part, through members of her non-profit, the Happy Hearts Fund. Nemcova's organization aims to help children in areas affected by natural disasters.

You can hear more about it during the full interview:


Photo/Video credit: ABC