NOAA CITES LINCOLN CITY, ORE., AS THE FIRST COMMUNITY TO BECOME TSUNAMIREADY SINCE THE INDIAN OCEAN DISASTER
March 7, 2005 - Officials from NOAA's National Weather Service are recognizing the city of Lincoln City, Ore., as a leader for becoming the first TsunamiReady community since the multinational Indian Ocean tsunami tragedy. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
"While an expanding tsunami observation and communication network allows NOAA forecasters to monitor conditions and issue warnings, the public must know how to react to such warnings in order to complete an effective tsunami warning process," said Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), director of NOAA's National Weather Service. "The TsunamiReady program helps educate the public on the immediate actions necessary to stay safe."
“TsunamiReady arms communities with improved communication, education and safety skills needed to save lives and property,” said Tyree Wilde, warning coordination meteorologist at the NWS Weather Forecast Office in Portland, Ore. “With TsunamiReady, communities are encouraged to improve public awareness and local response to hazardous situations, associated with tsunamis before and during such an event.”
“Preparation and advance warning are vital factors in tsunami readiness. Citizens in a seaside community, such as Lincoln City, which is in an area prone to earthquakes, must understand the importance of moving to high ground or inland immediately in case a tsunami occurs,” said Jay Wilson, earthquake and tsunami program manager for Oregon State Emergency Management.
In addition to becoming TsunamiReady, Lincoln City also will be recognized as StormReady. At a recognition ceremony in Lincoln City today, Steve Todd, meteorologist-in-charge of the NOAA National Weather Service office in Portland, Ore., will present special TsunamiReady and StormReady signs to city officials. The StormReady and TsunamiReady recognition will be in effect for three years when the county will go through a re-recognition process.
To be recognized as TsunamiReady and StormReady, a community must:
- Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center;
- Have more than one way to receive tsunami and severe weather warnings and forecasts to alert the public;
- Create a system that monitors local weather conditions
- Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars;
- Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
Both community preparedness programs use a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle local severe weather, wave impacts, flooding threats, and help communities inform citizens of threats associated with each. The program is voluntary and provides communities with clear-cut advice from a partnership between the local NWS office and state and local emergency managers.
StormReady started in 1999 with seven communities in the Tulsa, Okla., area. Ocean Shore, Wash., became the first TsunamiReady community in 2001. There are now more than 860 StormReady communities in 47 states and 16 TsunamiReady communities along the West Coast of the U.S., Hawaii, and Alaska.
The NOAA National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. The NOAA National Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy.
NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.
Greg Romano, (301) 713-0622, ext.169
Tyree Wilde, (503) 326-2340, ext. 223
Related Web sites:
NOAA’s National Weather Service: http://www.nws.noaa.gov
TsunamiReady program: http://www.stormready.noaa.gov/tsunamiready.htm
StormReady program: http://www.stormready.noaa.gov