U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), a senior Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee, announced that Washington state received $725,822 in grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the Washington State Tsunami Program in support of tsunami warning infrastructure, signage, outreach, and education.

 

“Thousands of people in Washington state live in tsunami danger zones. Our communities work hard to prepare for emergencies, but they can’t do it all on their own,” said Senator Cantwell. “These grants will help us protect coastal communities by boosting our emergency warning infrastructure, helping fund emergency management, and determining which areas need more preparation.”

 

Specifically, the grants awarded to the tsunami program at the Washington State Military Department will support:

 

  • Tsunami warning infrastructure and signage;
  • Outreach and education;
  • Training on tsunami operations at the National Tsunami Warning Center; and
  • Pedestrian evacuation modeling, among other initiatives.

 

Senator Cantwell has long been a leader in improving tsunami preparedness in the Pacific Northwest. Last year, she authored tsunami detection and warning legislation that increased grants through the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP). The legislation, which was signed into law in April of 2017, also strengthened NOAA’s tsunami warning system and advanced new research related to improving tsunami detection, forecasting, notification, and emergency response.

 

With the senator’s help, Washington’s Division of Emergency Management has received numerous NTHMP grants to help expedite tsunami preparedness, increase educational outreach efforts, and improve tsunami evacuation routes. For example, one grant through NTHMP helped purchase and install five tsunami sirens in Grays Harbor, Pacific, and Whatcom Counties. Click here for the full list of grants in FY2016 and FY2017.