Tsunami Preparedness Week

From Lori: Tsunami Preparedness week starts on Sunday and the live Code Tsunami Communications Test is Wednesday.  There hasn’t been much media interest in the test so far – we are hoping that radio and KIEM pick up on the story Monday and Tuesday.  As RCTWG members, you can help spread the word through your own formal and informal networks.  There are more sirens being triggered this year, so more opportunities for people to become upset.We are also about to go live with the new tsunami maps for Humboldt County.  They are posted at
Dan Larkin will be announcing their availability in the next few days.  Here is a draft of the announcement:
Fourteen new tsunami zone maps are now available for Humboldt County.  These maps, prepared by members of the Redwood Coast Tsunami Work Group working with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office – Office of Emergency Services, show areas that may be at tsunami risk in Humboldt County.  These maps are based on the biggest event and worst possible case tsunami likely to hit our area, a tsunami caused by a magnitude 9 earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone.
In most of the County, the boundaries between the white safe areas and yellow tsunami zones shown on the maps are marked by Entering and Leaving Tsunami Zone signs.  We urge people living, working or playing in a tsunami zone to identify the location of those signs and develop a plan on how best to get to a safe area.   If a great earthquake occurs nearby, the first tsunami surges could arrive in as little as ten minutes and there will be no time for sirens to sound or other warning messages to be disseminated.  Earthquake shaking that lasts twenty seconds or longer is your warning.  Protect yourself during the shaking by DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON: drop down to the ground, take cover under a sturdy table or desk if one is nearby, and hold on to it.  If you are in the yellow area, evacuate by foot as soon as it is safe for you move.  If you are in the white area, you are safer staying where you are and sheltering in place.  Use the map to plan a safe evacuation route.   Practice evacuating so that you and your family know what to do during a real tsunami.  Remember — go on foot.   Roads may be impassable.
The maps were developed by using information from the Relative Tsunami Hazard Maps produced by Humboldt State University and tsunami inundation mapping by the California Geological Survey and the California Emergency Management Agency.   They incorporate the best currently available information and may be changed or updated as additional scientific information becomes available.   The maps are intended to support tsunami evacuation planning and should not be used for any other purposes.  They do not represent how far an actual tsunami may penetrate inland – but show safe areas and areas that may be at risk delineated by easy-to-recognize geographic markers such as streets and roads.   They include no information about the probability of a tsunami hitting our area and do not reflect how an actual tsunami may impact the region.
A new set of tsunami brochures that will include the 14 new maps will soon be available.  The maps can be viewed and downloaded at http://www.humboldt.edu/rctwg/images/uploads/TsunamiBrochures_HumboldtCounty_March2012_reduced.pdf
More information on how to prepare for earthquakes and tsunamis is available in the magazine Living on Shaky Ground: How to Survive Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Northern California.  Copies are available online at www.humboldt.edu/shakyground or from the Humboldt State University Geology Department, (707) 826-3931.
If you have comments about this text, email me directly (lori.dengler@humboldt.edu) please don’t reply to the whole group.
Reminder: Tuesday morning March 27, a table top exercise for people who might participate in a post-tsunami field investigation will be held in the NWS Conference Room, Woodley Island, starting at 9:30 AM.  If you wish to attend, please contact Jay Patton (jpatton@coas.oregonstate.edu).

Lori Dengler
Geology Department
Humboldt State University
#1 Harpst St
Arcata, CA 95521
Voice: 707-8263115
Fax: 707-8265241

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