SEASIDE, Oregon – Late last fall, students from Seaside High School and the Seaside High School Associated Student Body (ASB) approached the Seaside City Council about a tsunami awareness project they had been working on. The project, "Don't Catch This Wave," was designed to raise awareness about the threat of a tsunami in the aftermath of a Cascadia Subduction Zone Earth and the ASB students felt they could make a lasting impact on the community.
In their presentation to Seaside's City Council on November 26, 2018, the ASB students helped motivate leaders in Seaside to work with state and federal partners to secure funding for new, prevalent tsunami evacuation "leaving" markers that have been placed, and are continuing to be placed, in Seaside and other coastal communities.
Along with City of Seaside and Office of Emergency Management leadership, the students are scheduled to meet at the Cove in Seaside on Wednesday, September 18 at 11:15 a.m., on Sunset Blvd to reflect on their work with short walk out of the inundation zone to one of the new "leaving" markers. Public and media are invited to attend.
The project was funded under an award by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) through the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP). The Oregon Office of Emergency Management and Department of Geologic Hazards and Mineral Industries have worked with a variety of coastal communities to provide these new "leaving" markers.
Anne McBride, City of Seaside Emergency Preparedness Coordinator said the signs provide a reinforcement tool for local residents to familiarize themselves with evacuation routes. "Improving evacuation signage will save lives in the event of a tsunami by helping people efficiently reach the safety of high ground," McBride said. "We feel street surface markers will be an ongoing reminder that encourages people to plan their evacuation routes before they need to use them. The success of this project was made possible by many groups working together."
The NTHMP includes NOAA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, and 28 U.S. states and territories (states). This strong and active partnership connects states with the federal agencies responsible for the U.S. Tsunami Warning System and brings together the expertise and experiences of all the partners.