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FUTURE: Preparing for disaster: State, feds to create tsunami strategy guides for Calif. harbors

Source: cope-preparedness.org

USGS image illustrates maximum current speeds in knots for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach generated during a tsunami scenario.

With the 50th anniversary of the devastating tsunami that killed a dozen people in Crescent City approaching, state and federal agencies have teamed up to create a preparedness playbook for each of California’s nearly 130 harbors.

Striking on March 27, 1964, the magnitude-9.2 Great Alaska Earthquake — also known as the Good Friday Earthquake — resulted in California’s deadliest tsunami, which killed 15 people on the West Coast and caused severe damage to several state harbors.

Rick Wilson of the California Geological Survey’s tsunami program said the state has a long history with the devastating waves.

”Since the 1800s, we’ve had over 100 tsunamis observed in California,” Wilson said. “Although most have been small, there have been 13 large enough to cause damage, especially to harbors.”

In order to prepare harbors for future events, the site-specific playbooks — created by the state geological survey in collaboration with the California Office of Emergency Services, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and several state universities, including Humboldt State University — will provide maps that lay out high-hazard areas under a number of different tsunami scenarios.

For each scenario, a corresponding response strategy will be given — whether it’s warning boats to remain offshore or preventing docks from being lifted off pilings.

Though two recent tsunamis — caused by the 2010 earthquake off the coast of Chile and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake off the coast of Japan — caused millions of dollars worth of damage at Crescent City and other California harbors, the events also created a scientific opportunity.

”Before those two events, we really didn’t have information about tsunamis along our coast,” Wilson said. “… It was priceless.”

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p style=”color: #000000;”>By obtaining video and data collected during the tsunamis, Wilson said they were able analyze currents and resulting effects, which “gave us the ability to model bigger scenarios” and “validate numerical models” that can be applied to various locations.

Read the rest of this article and find other worthy stories by visiting cope-preparedness.org

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Updated: May 11, 2014 — 12:17 pm

The Author

Rich Fleetwood

Rich is the founder of SurvivalRing, now in it's 20th year, author of multimedia CDs and DVDs, loves the outdoors, his family, his geeky skill-set, and lives in rural Missouri, just a few miles from the Big Muddy. Always ready to help others, he shares what he learns on multiple blogs, social sites, and more. With a background in preparedness and survival skills, training with county, state, and national organizations, and skills in all areas of media and on air experience in live radio and television, Rich is always thinking about the "big picture", when it comes to helping individuals and families prepare for life's little surprises. Since 1997, he has provided guidance, authentic government survival history, and commentary on why we all need to get ready for that fateful day in the future, when we have to get our hands dirty and step in to save the day. He is an award winning videographer (2005 Telly Award), has received state and national scholarly recognition (2006 New Century Scholar and All USA Academic Team), and is a natural with computers, technology, gadgets, small furry mammals, and anything on wheels. Rich likes making friends, solving problems, and creating solutions to everyday issues. He doesn't mind mixing things up, when there is a teaching moment ready to happen. As a constitutional conservative, he's staying quite busy these days. The SurvivalRing Radio Show at www.survivalringradio.com will be coming back SOON!

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