NOAA 2005-R269
Contact: Delores Clark
NOAA News Releases 2005
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Officials from NOAA's National Weather Service today praised the city and county of Honolulu for completing of a set of rigorous warning and evacuation criteria necessary to earn the distinction of being TsunamiReady and StormReady. NOAA is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"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 and StormReady recognize communities that take a proactive approach to improving public awareness and local response to hazardous situations,” said Jim Weyman, meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Honolulu. “Thanks to the efforts of Mayor Hanneman, the Oahu Civil Defense Agency, and others, the city and county of Honolulu have the means to protect the public from tsunamis and severe weather threats and we have furthered our agency’s mission to protect lives and property.”

“The TsunamiReady and StormReady programs help us improve and document the warning services that the city and county currently provide,” said Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hanneman. “With more than 85 percent of Hawaii’s population and thousands of visitors, it is imperative for Honolulu to be a resilient community able to respond quickly and effectively to all types of disasters. TsunamiReady and StormReady recognition assures residents and visitors that emergency officials have access to National Weather Service forecasts and warnings, and are prepared to help those in harms way in a timely manner.”

At a ceremony at Honolulu Hale, Weyman presented a recognition letter and special TsunamiReady and StormReady signs to city officials. The TsunamiReady and StormReady recognition will be in effect for three years when the city and county will go through a recertification 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.

The city and county of Honolulu is the third county in Hawaii to earn to be recognized as TsunamiReady and StormReady. Honolulu becomes the eighteenth TsunamiReady site in the United States. Currently there are more than 910 StormReady communities in 47 states.

Both community preparedness programs use a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle tsunamis, local severe weather, wave impacts, and flooding threats, and help communities inform citizens of threats associated with each. These programs are voluntary and provide communities a resiliency to weather-related threats through a partnership between local National Weather Service offices and state, county, and local emergency managers.

“Awareness, preparation and advance warning are vital factors in tsunami readiness. Residents and visitors near the coast must understand the importance of moving to high ground or inland immediately in case a tsunami occurs,” said William Balfour, administrator of Oahu Civil Defense Agency.

NOAA's National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA's 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, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, 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.

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