Oregon Receives Tsunami Preparedness Grant

Tsunami Walk
A $354,241 grant from the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program will fund multiple projects aimed at increasing the resilience of coastal communities, Oregon officials announced today.

“Oregon’s vision is for coastal residents and visitors to be fully prepared for and resilient to Cascadia Subduction Zone tsunamis,” says State Geologist Brad Avy. “This federal grant funding is critical in continuing our progress toward that vision.”

The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) and the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) work closely together, and with coastal communities, on projects supported by the grant.

Grant-funded projects will include:
– New tsunami signs, including more than 100 additional “Tsunami Hazard Zone” signs on Highway 101 and 100 evacuation map signs for locations with high foot traffic
– Evacuation route enhancements, including new wayfinding signs for up to three coastal communities and evacuation speed and route modeling for the South Beach area of Newport
– Tsunami Safe, an ongoing program to provide the hospitality industry with training and tools to increase the tsunami hazard awareness of staff and coastal visitors
– The OregonTsunami.org website, the state’s online hub for essential tsunami resources
– Publication of tsunami data for the Columbia River, including new virtual tsunami time history stations
– Development of digital wave arrival map layers for the north coast
– Outreach activities and events, including a coastal tsunami symposium in 2018

Since 2009, Oregon has received $4.65 million in National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program grants. The grant funds have been essential in helping Oregon better understand and prepare for tsunamis, says Dr. Jonathan C. Allan, DOGAMI coastal geomorphologist and project lead.

“Thanks to these grant funds, the entire Oregon coast now has tsunami evacuation maps that are available as print evacuation brochures and through a web map,” Allan says. “Development of those maps was a crucial accomplishment in helping residents and visitors get to safety. And that’s just one example of many.”

The grants have also funded ongoing outreach that’s critical in increasing awareness of the tsunami hazard and preparedness actions.

“We look forward to continuing to improve our tsunami evacuation routes on the coast,” says Dr. Althea Rizzo, OEM Geologic Hazards Program coordinator and project lead. “Visitors to the Oregon coast should take some time to practice walking the routes. We want our guests to be safe during emergencies.”

For more information about tsunami preparedness, visit OregonTsunami.org.

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