Tsunami Preparedness: Building On Past Efforts to Reach More People… California and Beyond!

Monday, 15 December 2014
Kevin Miller1, Jeri Siegel2, Cynthia L Pridmore3, Mark L Benthien4, Rick I Wilson3, Kate Long5 and Stephanie Ross6, (1)California Office of Emergency Services, Governor's Office, San Francisco, CA, United States, (2)California Office of Emergency Services, Governor's Office, San Luis Obispo, CA, United States, (3)California Geological Survey Sacramento, Department of Conservation, Sacramento, CA, United States, (4)Southern California Earthquake Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, United States, (5)California Office of Emergency Services, Governor's Office, Pasadena, CA, United States, (6)USGS, Menlo Park, CA, United States
The California Tsunami Program has continued to build upon past preparedness efforts, carried out year-round, while leveraging government support at all levels during National Tsunami Preparedness Week, the last week of March. A primary goal is for everyone who lives at or visits the coast to understand basic safety measures when responding to official tsunami alerts or natural warnings. In 2014, more so than ever before, many local, coastal jurisdictions conducted grass-roots activities in their areas. When requested, state and federal programs stepped in to contribute subject matter expertise, lessons learned, and support. And, this year, the new website, www.TsunamiZone.org, was developed. With a goal of establishing a baseline for future years, this website builds on the successes of the Great Shakeout Earthquake Drills (www.ShakeOut.org) by allowing people to locate and register for tsunami preparedness events in their area. Additionally, it provides a central location for basic tsunami preparedness information, and links to find out more. The idea is not only to empower people with the best available, vetted, scientifically-based public safety information, but also to provide ways in which individuals can take physical action to educate themselves and others. Several broad categories of preparedness actions include: official acknowledgement of National Tsunami Preparedness Week, local “tsunami walk” drills, simulated tsunami-based exercises, testing of sirens and notification systems, outreach materials (brochures, videos, maps), workshops, presentations, media events, and websites. Next steps include building on the foundation established in 2014 by leveraging ShakeOut audiences, providing people with more information about how they can participate in 2015, and carrying the effort forward to other states and territories.