The National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program is set to fund a variety of projects throughout the State of Oregon aimed at increasing the resilience of coastal communities before, during and after a catastrophic tsunami.
By Brian Cameron
Tillamook County will be one of the recipients to $354,241 in grant funding on behalf of the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program and the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI.) The monies will be used across the coastline of Oregon in order to provide better resources for not only locals, but more importantly visitors and tourists who frequent the area.
“I feel it was a pretty good way to spend the funds,” said Gordon McCraw of the Tillamook County Emergency Management Agency. “It seems DOGAMI thought so as well.”
Similar monies in the past from DOGAMI were used for more signage in regards to aiming residents and visitors to safety, in addition to signage there are other efforts being made to provide easier to produce flyers which will be distributed to the local hospitality industry as well as be available to print online.
“Oregon’s vision is for coastal residents and visitors to be fully prepared for and resilient to Cascadia Subduction Zone tsunamis,” said Brad Avy, State Geologist. “This federal grant funding is critical in continuing our progress toward that vision.”
According to McCraw himself and other emergency managers throughout the state got together about four years ago to go over the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program in order to determine the pros and cons of the status quo in regards to emergency preparedness. A number of issues t came up about ability to produce informational resources at home and to have a more cost effective opportunity regarding signage, fliers, wayfinding and other directional resources aimed at showing people where to go during a tsunami.
Coming on the heels of September being regarded as personal preparedness month with efforts from the Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay as well as similar efforts being done throughout the county, the grant funds from DOGAMI as part of the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program are considered a much needed resource for emergency preparedness. The monies have also funded ongoing outreach programs critical to increasing awareness of the preparedness actions.
“We look forward to continuing to improve our tsunami evacuation routes on the coast,” said Dr. Althea Rizzo, project coordinator and lead. “Visitors to the Oregon coast should take some time to practice walking the routes. We want our guests to be safe during emergencies.”