Hawaii Declared First TsunamiReady State In U.S.

NOAA’s National Weather Service pleased with preparation

By: Dawna Robertson

Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service have praised Hawaii's civil defense team for completing a set of rigorous warning and evacuation criteria necessary to earn the distinction of the entire state being TsunamiReady and StormReady.

All four counties in Hawaii have earned the TsunamiReady and StormReady designation, making Hawaii the first state in the United States to achieve this status.

"Through the StormReady program, Hawaii will be better prepared to help protect the lives and property of its residents and visitors during severe weather events,” remarked retired Air Force Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, director of NOAA's National Weather Service.

Hawaii has actually experienced more tsunami threats than any other state in the union.

“We know how devastating they can be,” noted Sen. Daniel K. Inouye. “With the one-year anniversary of the greatest tsunami of our lifetime, our hearts go out to those Indian Ocean countries who are still recovering.”

Inouye pointed out that Hawaii has taken steps to be better prepared for the next tsunami.

“We have an emergency operations center in every county, a statewide siren system, evacuation maps in the phone books, regular drills and public education programs,” he explained. “These provisions and others helped the State of Hawaii become TsunamiReady and StormReady."