Submitted by Grays Harbor County Emergency Management

Tsunami and earthquake experts will be in Grays Harbor County on April 11,  for presentations focused on tsunami hazards, alert messages and preparing residents to be at least two weeks ready for disaster.

Officials from the Washington Emergency Management Division will be joined by the Washington Geological Survey, the National Weather Service, the University of Washington/Sea Grant and Grays Harbor County Emergency Management officials in the 90-minute presentation, which will include time for questions.

A South Beach presentation is slated for noon, Wednesday, April 11 at the Ocosta Junior-Senior High School Library, 2580 Montesano St, Westport; while a North Beach presentation will be 6 p.m., at the Ocean Shores Convention Center, 120 W. Chance a La Mer NW Ocean Shores.

“We’ve done these presentations before, but we’re expecting more interest given the most recent Alaska Tsunami Watch event this past January,” said Keily Yemm, the tsunami program coordinator for the Washington Emergency Management Division. “Given how events unfolded, we think it’s even more imperative to help people understand the advantages of having a NOAA Weather Alert Radio, the difference in tsunami alert levels, near source vs distance source tsunamis and when the tsunami sirens will be activated.”

There are currently 23 sirens in Grays Harbor (including one located at the Quinault Indian Nation) out of 69 located in tsunami threatened coastal communities across the entire state.

The outreach campaign is partially funded by the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, which is also providing funding this year for more tsunami evacuation and hazard zone signs in tsunami threatened communities, new tsunami inundation modeling studies and the development of a best practices guide for building vertical evacuation structures in Washington, as well as other efforts.

The new gymnasium at the Ocosta Elementaryt School is a vertical tsunami evacuation structure, the first building of its kind in North America, funded completely by its generous taxpayers based on science crafted by Project SafeHaven. At the Ocosta Tsunami Roadshow Event, attendees will be invited to take part in a tsunami evacuation drill to climb the stairs to the top of the vertical evacuation structure, typically not open to the public.

Besides Grays Harbor, presentations are also scheduled April 10 through April 13 all along Washington’s outer coast to include locations in Clallam, Jefferson and Pacific counties with presentations also hosted with the Hoh and Quileute Nations.

More information about the road show locations, its presenters and the topics being covered can be found at http://mil.wa.gov/tsunami

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