Tsunami.gov: NOAA’s Tsunami Information Portal

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Brian Shiro1, John Carrick2, Sidney B Hellman3, Mark Bernard3 and W. Patrick Dildine4, (1)NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, Ewa Beach, HI, United States, (2)NOAA National Tsunami Warning Center, Palmer, AK, United States, (3)Instrumental Software Technologies Inc., Saratoga Springs, NY, United States, (4)ERT Corp., Laurel, MD, United States
We present the new Tsunami.gov website, which delivers a single authoritative source of tsunami information for the public and emergency management communities. The site efficiently merges information from NOAA’s Tsunami Warning Centers (TWC’s) by way of a comprehensive XML feed called Tsunami Event XML (TEX). The resulting unified view allows users to quickly see the latest tsunami alert status in geographic context without having to understand complex TWC areas of responsibility. The new site provides for the creation of a wide range of products beyond the traditional ASCII-based tsunami messages. The publication of modern formats such as Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) can drive geographically aware emergency alert systems like FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). Supported are other popular information delivery systems, including email, text messaging, and social media updates. The Tsunami.gov portal allows NOAA staff to easily edit content and provides the facility for users to customize their viewing experience. In addition to access by the public, emergency managers and government officials may be offered the capability to log into the portal for special access rights to decision-making and administrative resources relevant to their respective tsunami warning systems. The site follows modern HTML5 responsive design practices for optimized use on mobile as well as non-mobile platforms. It meets all federal security and accessibility standards. Moving forward, we hope to expand Tsunami.gov to encompass tsunami-related content currently offered on separate websites, including the NOAA Tsunami Website, National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, NOAA Center for Tsunami Research, National Geophysical Data Center’s Tsunami Database, and National Data Buoy Center’s DART Program. This project is part of the larger Tsunami Information Technology Modernization Project, which is consolidating the software architectures of NOAA’s existing TWC’s into a single system. We welcome your feedback to help Tsunami.gov become an effective public resource for tsunami information and a medium to enable better global tsunami warning coordination.