MONTESANO, Wash. - The Grays Harbor Department of Emergency Management announced that the Earthquake and Tsunami in Samoa yesterday, caused a tsunami advisory for the West Coast of Mexico to the Oregon-Washington border from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). AT NO TIME was the Grays Harbor area ever warned of a Tsunami watch or Warning. The Grays Harbor area saw a very slight 1 inch rise in water which was predicted by NOAA’s West Coast & Alaska Tsunami Warning Center. Sheriff Whelan, the Director of Emergency Management for Grays Harbor County, received periodic updates throughout the day from the warning center and was in contact with other County officials who were monitoring the situation. At the time of the advisory, entities of Grays Harbor County were participating in a region wide Tsunami Exercise based in Pacific County.
In the event of a hazardous Tsunami heading to Western Washington, all residents would had been alerted thru the AHAB Warning Siren System (only to be heard by people outdoors), the All Hazards Weather Radios and local television and radio stations to “MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND”. It is suggested that you DO NOT drive to a safe haven due to the fact that you may encounter traffic jams and be unable to escape a fast approaching Tsunami. Residents of Samoa, only has 25 minutes from the time of the earthquake until the Tsunami devastated the area. Secondary Tsunami waves are common. You should stay in higher ground until you are given further instructions by officials.
September is Disaster Preparedness Month. The Grays Harbor County Department of Emergency Management stresses the fact that it is imperative that all County residents get an All Hazards Weather Radio to inform them of potential hazardous situations in the area. It is also suggested that all residents become more pro-active in preparing for any situation that may occur in our County during the year. It is suggested that you keep enough supplies for 72 hours at your disposal. These include non- perishable food items, blankets, flashlights, water and generators. Also, remember to keep enough food and water for your pets on hand. The other pertinent information you will need, is to locate one shelter where you could go to in the event you must evacuate your home. The County is preparing a list of shelters for every area of the County which will be distributed in the local newspapers and be posted on the Grays Harbor County Emergency Management website at
It is important that you have a contact point with someone in another county, state etc. who could receive calls from everyone in your family to insure that all are safe and accounted for. This contact person should also have copies of all of your important records and medicine prescriptions.
The Grays Harbor County Department of Emergency Management is upgrading on a daily basis, our capabilities for Tsunami warning, preparedness, disaster mitigation and citizen safety. A new AHAB warning siren has been approved by the County Commissioners and was installed in Moclips this week.