Emergencies come in many shapes and sizes, but, here on the coast, the primary threat to residents and visitors are tsunamis, earthquakes, and severe winter storms.
Each community has worked with the County OES and the state to develop evacuation plans based on their topography, inundation zones and populations along the coast. The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the California Geological Survey announced the revised plans earlier this week as part of Tsunami Preparedness Week.
County OES Senior Emergency Services Coordinator Mike Davis said San Diego is one of five counties chosen to create the tailored playbooks as part of a state pilot program. Prior to the new playbooks, the tsunami plan was a single, one-size-fits-all response for communities--from those with steep cliffs and no population to those with docked boats, homes or businesses along the water. Last year, OES mailed tsunami flood surge maps and evacuation routes to the homes and businesses in the tsunami flood surge zone of each of the ten communities.
San Diego’s 70 miles of coastline could experience a tsunami caused by a faraway earthquake or one close to shore. If a local quake or undersea landslide produced the tsunami, shaking from the quake itself or rapidly receding water might be the only warning signs. The tsunami preparedness strategy will later include maritime response playbooks with harbor planning and guidance for reinforcing harbor structures. The Project’s mapping result is presented to the concerned local government units (LGU) for their information and the maps itself are used for disaster risk management and development planning.


A five-day training course is conducted by PHIVOLCS for provincial and city or town development planners and disaster managers under the READY project.
These maps show predictions for the estimated maximum extent of inundation for a LOCAL Cascadia tsunami (YELLOW) for all of Oregon and Washington overlaid on Google Maps. For DISTANT tsunamis you may learn that a tsunami alert has been issued by the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center through TV and radio station broadcasts, NOAA Weather Radio, or in some cases by announcements from emergency officials, aircraft, outdoor sirens, or mobile devices.
The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) and Oregon Emergency Management (OEM), in partnership with the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP), completed mapping tsunami evacuation zones for the entire Oregon coast in 2013.
The Washington Department of Natural Resources (WA DNR) and Washington Emergency Management Division (WA EMD), in partnership with NTHMP, completed 1st generation evacuation maps of selected portions of the Washington coast between 1998 and 2010 based on the maximum considered inundation expected for a LOCAL Cascadia tsunami.
Naval installations could refer to new tsunami response “playbooks” that include tailored, phased evacuation and mitigation plans for each area. In San Diego County, emergency managers had one of two choices: clear the beaches only or evacuate the whole region’s tsunami evacuation zone, with its approximately 33,000 homes and businesses.
If a distant quake caused a tsunami, the federal National Tsunami Warning Center in Alaska would warn local officials of the approaching surge.
It is also meant to equip key stakeholder groups, particularly those in the target disaster prone areas, with capacities to prepare for and cope with the impact of natural disaster, strengthen coordination processes and procedures for effective risk reduction and start the process of mainstreaming risk reduction into local development planning.
An introduction on the local hazards and how the software can be used in integrating hazards and risk information in planning through case studies are given prior to actual detailed lectures and hands on use of the software.


The evacuation maps show two tsunami hazard zones: inundation associated with a maximum considered DISTANT (ORANGE) tsunami and LOCAL (YELLOW) Cascadia tsunami.
WA DNR and WA EMD are presently working to update evacuation zones to reflect new earthquake source information developed by Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, which will be used to develop a new suite of evacuation maps for the Washington coast. Since it could take hours to arrive, local officals would have time to refer to the playbook and target evacautions to specific areas.
For LOCAL tsunamis there will not be time for an official warning; the earthquake is your warning. Maps developed for the Washington coast will continue to include only one evacuation zone for all tsunami events. The entire Pacific coast including Puget Sound, are vulnerable to DISTANT tsunamis even if not depicted on this map.
Thus, the software is a tool that can be used not only by disaster managers in planning for preparedness, response or mitigation activities but also by development planners in integrating hazards and risk information in land use and development planning. Sections of the coast marked by diagonal lines are currently unmapped, but are also vulnerable to tsunamis - Be vigilant and know what to do when at the coast.



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    Author: 1
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