SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan and Craig recognized as TsunamiReady®


June 06, 2015
Saturday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - Ketchikan and Craig have earned the NOAA National Weather Service TsunamiReady® recognition, demonstrating their emergency managers, residents, businesses and visitors are better prepared for tsunamis. Tom Ainsworth, meteorologist in charge, from the National Weather Service forecast office in Juneau, and Cindi Preller, tsunami program manager for NOAA’s National Weather Service in Alaska, presented TsunamiReady road signs to local officials last week.

jpg Ketchikan and Craig recognized as TsunamiReady®

Left to Right: Debbie Nance, Ketchikan Community Emergency Response Team; Karl Amylon, Ketchikan City Manager; Steve Corporon , Ketchikan Port and Harbors Director; Tom Ainsworth, Meteorologist-in-Charge of Weather Forecast Office in Juneau; Cindi Preller, Tsunami Program Manager for National Weather Service in Alaska; DeAnn Karlson, Ketchikan City Council Member; Erv Petty, Emergency Management Specialist, State of Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management; Abner Hoage, Ketchikan Fire Department (KFD) Chief; Jon Dorman, KFD Assistant Chief; Willie Schultz, Dave Breitkreutz, Terry Roberts and Jeff Jones, KFD.
Photo courtesy Ketchikan Fire Department

“Alaskans must be aware of the threat of distant tsunamis and be prepared and ready in the case of a locally generated one,” said Aimee Devaris, director of the National Weather Service Alaska Region. “It is critically important that people recognize nature’s warning signs that a tsunami may be imminent such as intense ground shaking, the ocean roaring, or the ocean suddenly retreating. The TsunamiReady program emphasizes the planning, education, and awareness necessary for communities to minimize the risks to lives and livelihoods from tsunamis and other coastal hazards.”

To achieve this distinction the communities met rigorous criteria, including developing tsunami safety plans and communications infrastructure, installing tsunami hazard zone and evacuation signs, and actively promoting tsunami safety through public awareness activities and training. Ketchikan and Craig join the 11 coastal communities also recognized as TsunamiReady, making the Alaskan coast a safer place to live, work and visit.

The TsunamiReady preparedness program helps communities develop tsunami response plans with NOAA's National Weather Service and local emergency managers. Since the program began in 2004, more than 185 U.S. communities have become TsunamiReady.

To be recognized as TsunamiReady a community must:

  • Establish a 24-hour center for receiving National Weather Service warnings and activating local warning systems.
  • Have more than one way to alert the public about tsunami and severe weather warnings.
  • Promote public readiness through community education and the distribution of information.
  • Develop a formal tsunami plan, which includes holding emergency exercises.

The TsunamiReady program is part of NOAA National Weather Service's working partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers, the National Emergency Management Association and the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program. The TsunamiReady designation must be renewed after three years.


Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


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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.


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