New funding will assist coastal tsunami preparedness

New funding will bring 2 more tsunami warning sirens to coastal Washington.

According to a release from the Washington Emergency Management Division, a new $725,822 federal grant will fund two new tsunami sirens, evacuation route signs, and “improved modeling and animations to give the public a better idea of where a tsunami could hit in their communities”.

The funding comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Weather Service (NOAA/NWS) Tsunami Activities Grant and will go towards multiple tsunami preparedness projects.

“This funding will increase the number of sirens between the outer coast and the northern Puget Sound up to 74,” said Maximilian Dixon, the earthquake program manager for Washington EMD. “We’re grateful for the federal funding and the partnerships with counties and tribes that continue to help support our tsunami alerting capabilities.”

The locations for the additional two sirens are still being determined.

In addition to the sirens, the funding will be used to by the University of Washington to create a Tsunami Hazard Assessment (THA) modeling study of the central and northern coast, create pedestrian evacuation modeling with the Department of Natural Resources, and other projects to improve safety.

“We’re also using the funds to develop comprehensive and engaging tsunami animations so that the public has a clear understanding of the impacts a series of tsunami waves will have on their communities,” said Keily Yemm, the tsunami program coordinator for the Washington EMD. “We’re working with our partners to help ensure the animations will be effective and accessible.”

Learn more about tsunamis from the Washington Military Department at http://mil.wa.gov/tsunami

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