NOAA 2005-R241
Contact: Ron Trumbla
NOAA News Releases 2005
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Officials from NOAA's National Weather Service today recognized Tillamook County, Ore., for becoming the first TsunamiReady county in the continental United States. 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 arms communities with improved communication, education and safety skills needed to save lives and property,” said Tyree Wilde, warning coordination meteorologist at NOAA’s National Weather Service 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.”

“Awareness, preparation and advance warning are vital factors in tsunami readiness. Citizens living in seaside communities on the north Oregon Coast, such as in Tillamook County, which is in an area at risk from earthquakes and tsunamis, must understand the importance of moving to high ground or inland immediately in case a tsunami occurs,” said Jay Wilson, earthquake and tsunami program coordinator for Oregon State Emergency Management.

In addition to becoming TsunamiReady, Tillamook County has also been recognized as StormReady. At a ceremony in Tillamook today, Vickie Nadolski, western region director of NOAA's National Weather Service, presented 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. These programs are voluntary and provide communities with clear-cut advice from a partnership between local National Weather Service offices 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 880 StormReady communities in 47 states and 17 TsunamiReady communities along the West Coast of the U.S., Hawaii, and Alaska.

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 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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