Harbor Evacuation

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					Harbor Evacuation
       for
   TSUNAMIS



              Joel Curtis
 Warning and Coordination Meteorologist
     NWS Forecast Office, Juneau
             AAHPA
         October 28, 2010
                   Purpose

The NWS primary mission is to protect life and
     property from natural hazards, and to
    enhance the welfare and economy of the
                    Nation.


   Raise Awareness of the
  Threat of Tsunamis and the
  Considerations for a Harbor
          Evacuation
       PLAN AHEAD !
Harbor Evacuation?




         “The life-blood of our
         communities is in our
               harbors.”
             State of Tsunami
          Prediction & Warnings
•Earthquake Detection – Excellent
•Tsunami Generated ? – Good
•Detection / Evaluation – Good as the
       Observations
•Arrival Timing – Very Good (First Wave)
•Wave Height – Fair (Models) Not in the
      Forecast yet
•Inundation Maps – Some Progress
•Preparedness – NEVER ENOUGH !
•Dissemination – Good and Getting Better -
“Tsunami Portal”
         Tsunami Behavior




• NOT A SINGLE WAVE – may last for HOURS
• TOTAL WATER COLUMN “ten min. surge”
• Second Wave may biggest
• WAIT FOR OFFICIAL “ALL CLEAR”
  Four new threat
       levels

 •Defined between
coastal break points
         Tsunami WARNING Thresholds

                                       Magnitudes less than 7.0
                                        •   Tsunami information statement
                                       Magnitudes from 7.1 to 7.5
                                        • Warning for an area within 350km
                                          either side of the epicenter (e.g.,
                                          700 km warning area)
                                       Magnitudes 7.6 to 7.8
                                        •   Warning for an area within 500km
                                            either side of the epicenter (e.g.,
                                            1000 km warning area)
                                       Magnitudes 7.9 and greater
                                        •   Warning if wave arrival within 3
                                            hours travel time from epicenter
                                             – - Watch if wave within 6 hours travel
                                               time from epicenter

Good Friday Alaska Earthquake – 1964
          Magnitude – 9.2

            http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/
                Potential Advisory
                  Level Damage



                                 Crescent City after
                                  the Kuril Island
                                 quake / tsunami of
                                    11-15-2006
                                   Dengler et. al.




Santa Cruz harbor, CA -
  14 hours after the
    Chilean quake
      2/27/2010
      Potential Warning level damage



Pago Pago Samoa
   9-29-2009
   7 m runup




                              Khao Lak :
                             12-26-2004
                             12 m runup
         How will YOU and your
          customers find out?
1. Emergency Alert System (EAS Radio TV)
2. EM Sirens, City Radio, Phone Tree Call-out
3. NOAA Weather Radio Alert
4. Internet Alerts
5. “Voluntary” Commercial Radio & TV
6. AKWAS “Red Telephone”
7. Amateur Radio
8. Grapevine in Villages
           Human Psychology

• Research – 3 Independent Confirmations
• Takes TIME!
• NWS uses multiple channels
• At this point…NO WAVE HEIGHT FOR
YOUR HARBOR
• Warning > 1.0 m    Advisory < 1.0 m

The NWS will not advise you what to do…
                        SO WHAT HAPPENS?
New Breakpoints 2010
“Do they mean me?”
                   DECISION

1. Independent Confirmation(s)
2. Evaluate Threat
3. Evacuate or Not
4. Get to Higher
  Ground ! ( EM )
               PLAN AHEAD!

•Role of the Harbormaster
•Role of the Harbor Staff
•Vessel Owners / Operators
•Emergency Manager
•Police / Fire / USCG


It is much better to work this out now than
during the event!
                        Evaluate
1.    WARNING, WATCH, or ADVISORY ?
2.    ARRIVAL TIME (first wave)
3.    Proximity to “SAFE” Water
4.    Time of Day
5.    Weather
6.    Tide
7.    Other Factors
8.    History
9.    Effective Plan
10.   Practice
              More Questions

• Lines of Authority – Who’s in Charge?
• Do your customers know about Tsunamis?
• Pros and Cons of Evacuation?
• Pros and Cons of NOT Evacuating?
• Evacuation Orders by Local Authority


The answers are only possible through
preparedness planning!
      Plan Consultants
1. Your Emergency Manager
2. Your LEPC
3. USCG
4. NWS
5. Network of Harbormasters
6. AK DHS&EM
7. Most of All: Your Experience



 You might need a
   traffic cop?
             Evaluate (cont’d)
  Wave
Direction?
   Safe
 Zones?
         8) Plan Considerations
•Owner / Ops Contacts
•Time / Dist    50 FA
•Community Involvement
•Channel / Entrance            Slow, but seaworthy!

•Vessel Types
•Boat Launch / Ramp
•Communications (VHF, cell phone lock-up)
•Curiosity / Congestion
•Can you think of many more?
Pre-Wave Arrival Chaos
                       9) Practice
1. Table Top                         50 FA
2. Practical / Drill
3. Monthly Comms Test
   Tsunami Portal

•Forecasted and observed
  sea levels at forecast
         points

 •Well organized travel
times and forecast data

    •Special product
      permissions

   •Both centers are
     represented
  Chile




CHILE 2/27/10
West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center
                Palmer AK
              907 - 745 - 4212
                                     Director
                                   Paul Whitmore




              http://tsunami.gov
          Tsunami Operations Center
  Alaska Region Partners


Office of Response and Restoration
        a.k.a NOAA HAZMAT
                  Contacts
          Get to know your WCM!
WCATWC: Bill Knight 745 – 4212
AK Region: Jeff Osiensky 271 – 5132
Anchorage: Sam Albanese 266 - 5117
Fairbanks: John Lingaas 458 - 3712
Juneau:    Joel Curtis 790 - 6803
           NWS Commitment!
       We can give you more than the
                 forecast!
1. How can we help you better in Operations?
2. We are Available : Phone, Internet, Person
3. Preparedness and Mitigation ...Getting ready
   for the next one makes everyone’s job easier
   during and after the event.
4. Science – Meteorology and Oceanography
5. Forensics – Historical Data and Analysis
6. New Products and Services
         Above All…
   Tell Us What You Need -




We will work very hard to provide it !

				
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