Since June 20, 2001, the National Weather Service (NWS) of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been implementing the recognition program, TsunamiReadyTM . This program has helped community leaders and emergency managers strengthen their local operations. As of August, 2011 almost 100 coastal communities have been recognized by the National Weather Service as TsunamiReady . These communities are recognized as being better prepared to save lives through better planning, education and awareness. Communities have fewer fatalities and property damage if they plan before a tsunami arrives. No community is tsunami proof, but TsunamiReady can help minimize loss to your community.
The UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Intergovernmental Coordination Group for Tsunamis and other Coastal Hazards for the Caribbean and Adjacent regions (CARIBE EWS) has recommended in all its six meetings the need to strengthen tsunami preparedness in the region and adapt and adopt the best practices.
In May 2010, a TsunamiReady Summit was held in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. Almost 100 participants from the Caribbean also recognized that the TsunamiReady program is an effective program to help protect the life, property and livelihood of people from tsunamis in coastal communities by helping emergency managers, government officials and community leaders to recognize hazard areas, improve tsunami warning reception and dissemination capabilities, prepare response plans, and educate residents and visitors. The participants recommended that a strategy be developed to expand TsunamiReady to other nations and licensing agreements and verification be managed internationally thru UNESCO IOC and its Intergovernmental Coordination Groups for the Tsunami Warning System and implemented with the support of regional organizations (CDEMA, SRC, CEPREDENAC, PRSN), ICG CARIRBE EWS recommended Caribbean Tsunami Information Center and Caribbean Tsunami Warning Center, ITIC and NOAA NWS. The participants also suggested that a pilot community in the region be identified that can be used as an initial rollout for the Caribbean and the international community and noted the need to identify national and international funding for Caribbean communities to achieve TsunamiReady status and research.
Responding to these recommendations, the US National Weather Service provided in June 2011 initial funding to support one pilot project. The Caribbean Tsunami Warning Program is currently working with the Government of Anguilla. The initiative is also being coordinated with the CARIBE EWS.
For any questions regarding this program, please contact Christa G. von Hillebrandt-Andrade (firstname.lastname@example.org). More information on the TsunamiReady Program is also available at http://www.tsunamiready.noaa.gov/.