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Emergency response and field observation activities of geoscientists in California (USA) during the September 29, 2009, Samoa Tsunami

Wilson, Rick I. and Dengler, Lori A. and Goltz, James D. and Legg, Mark R. and Miller, Kevin M. and Ritchie, Andy and Whitmore, Paul M. (2011) Emergency response and field observation activities of geoscientists in California (USA) during the September 29, 2009, Samoa Tsunami. Earth-Science Reviews, 107 (1-2). pp. 193-200. ISSN 0012-8252.

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State geoscientists (geologists, geophysicists, seismologists, and engineers) in California work closely with federal, state and local government emergency managers to help prepare coastal communities for potential impacts from a tsunami before, during, and after an event. For teletsunamis, as scientific information (forecast model wave heights, first-wave arrival times, etc.) from NOAA's West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center is made available, federal- and state-level emergency managers must help convey this information in a concise, comprehensible and timely manner to local officials who ultimately determine the appropriate response activities for their jurisdictions. During the September 29, 2009 Tsunami Advisory for California, government geoscientists assisted the California Emergency Management Agency by providing technical assistance during teleconference meetings with NOAA and other state and local emergency managers prior to the arrival of the tsunami. This technical assistance included background information on anticipated tidal conditions when the tsunami was set to arrive, wave height estimates from state-modeled scenarios for areas not covered by NOAA's forecast models, and clarifying which regions of the state were at greatest risk. Over the last year, state geoscientists have started to provide additional assistance: 1) working closely with NOAA to simplify their tsunami alert messaging and expand their forecast modeling coverage; 2) creating “playbooks” containing information from existing tsunami scenarios for local emergency managers to reference during an event; and, 3) developing a state-level information “clearinghouse” and pre-tsunami field response team to assist local officials as well as observe and report tsunami effects. Activities of geoscientists were expanded during the more recent Tsunami Advisory on February 27, 2010, including deploying a geologist from the California Geological Survey as a field observer who provided information back to emergency managers.

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Additional Information:© 2011 Elsevier B.V. Received 29 June 2010; accepted 25 January 2011. Available online 1 February 2011. The authors would like to thank NOAA/NTHMP for supporting tsunami hazard mitigation and response activities in California. Thank you also to the NOAA-NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologists and the state and county emergency managers who are part of the California Tsunami Program Steering Committee for their participation in the post-event survey.
Subject Keywords:Tsunami; emergency management; geoscientist; field observations; warning center; local operational areas
Issue or Number:1-2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110808-115002720
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Official Citation:Rick I. Wilson, Lori A. Dengler, James D. Goltz, Mark R. Legg, Kevin M. Miller, Andy Ritchie, Paul M. Whitmore, Emergency response and field observation activities of geoscientists in California (USA) during the September 29, 2009, Samoa Tsunami, Earth-Science Reviews, Volume 107, Issues 1-2, The 2009 South Pacific tsunami, July 2011, Pages 193-200, ISSN 0012-8252, DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2011.01.010.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:24738
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:08 Aug 2011 20:29
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 02:59

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