NOAA 2006-R266
Contact: Jim Teet
NOAA News Releases 2006
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Officials from NOAA's National Weather Service have recognized California’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station as the nation’s first nuclear power plant to establish a tsunami and severe weather safety plan as part of the federal weather agency’s nationwide program of preparedness.

"The TsunamiReady and StormReady Supporter program encourages businesses and schools to establish tsunami and severe weather safety plans, and actively participate and promote related safety awareness activities," said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, director of NOAA's National Weather Service. "These supporters are part of the TsunamiReady and StormReady programs, which arm communities with improved communication and safety measures needed to save lives and property.”

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 with clear-cut advice through a partnership between the local National Weather Service office and state, county and local emergency managers. StormReady started in 1999 with seven communities in the Tulsa, Okla., area. There are now more than 1,070 StormReady communities throughout the United States and more than 25 TsunamiReady communities in seven states.

"San Onofre's number one priority is safety," said offsite emergency planning manager Barbara Culverhouse. "We take that commitment very seriously and continuously seek to improve our emergency planning to ensure the safety of our employees and the public. We are proud to be the nation's first nuclear power plant to be recognized as a TsunamiReady and StormReady supporter. Preparedness is key to public safety and we stand prepared."

“Not only does the California coast face a threat from tsunamis generated elsewhere in the Pacific, but earthquakes off the coast can also locally generate tsunamis,” said Ed Clark, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in San Diego, the forecast office with jurisdiction over San Onofre. “The emergency managers at San Onofre station have identified areas at risk from a tsunami and have created evacuation plans.”

Jim Purpura, meteorologist-in-charge of the San Diego forecast office, presented a TsunamiReady/StormReady Supporter certificate to generating station officials during a recognition ceremony today.

To be recognized as a StormReady and TsunamiReady supporter, an organization must:

  • Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center;
  • Have more than one way to receive tsunami watches and warnings as well as severe weather forecasts and warnings, and to alert the public;
  • Create a system that monitors local weather conditions;
  • Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars; and
  • Develop a formal hazardous weather and tsunami response plan, which includes training severe weather spotters, identifying tsunami inundation zones and evacuation routes, and holding emergency exercises.

“TsunamiReady and StormReady recognize communities and organizations that take a proactive approach to improve public awareness and local response to hazardous situations,” said Purpura. He credits the work of local officials and emergency planners for providing the means to protect the public from tsunamis and severe weather threats.

In 2007 NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, celebrates 200 years of science and service to the nation. Starting with the establishment of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA. The agency is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners and more than 60 countries to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes.

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NOAA’s National Weather Service:

NOAA’s San Diego National Weather Service:

StormReady/TsunamiReady program information:

NOTE: Media interested in interviews with the San Diego Weather Forecast Office may contact Ed Clark, warning coordination meteorologist, or Jim Purpura, meteorologist-in-charge, at (858) 675-8700.