Hawai‘i Secures $625,000 in Federal Funds for Tsunami Preparedness

September 9, 2016, 8:39 AM HST · Updated September 9, 8:43 AM
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Water being drained from Maalaea Harbor as Maui residents brace for tsunami surges on Friday morning. Photo courtesy Darren Aguinaldo.

Water being drained from Māʻalaea Harbor as Maui residents brace for tsunami surges on from the March 2011 Japan quake. File photo courtesy Darren Aguinaldo.

US Senator Brian Schatz announced $652,000 in federal funds has been secured for tsunami preparedness in Hawaiʻi.

The funds will support the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency. NOAA’s Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program provides funding to coastal states for preparedness activities such as inundation mapping, disaster planning, and tsunami education.

Because of these funds, Hawai‘i became one of the first states in the nation to be declared Tsunami Ready.

“In Hawai‘i, being well-prepared for natural disasters like tsunamis can mean the difference between life and death,” said Senator Schatz. “This critical funding will help improve our tsunami disaster planning so we can better protect Hawai‘i’s coastal communities and save lives.”

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As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Schatz has championed funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration program that provides this grant funding in the Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill.

The grant will support proposed projects that will support HI-EMA in its mission to inform the public of: the risks posed by tsunami; how to prepare for these short notice events; and life-saving mitigating measures.

Many of the proposed projects involve collaboration with partnering entities, such as the NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, the University of Hawai‘i, and a host of other federal, state, and local stakeholders including the general public. These collaborations are aimed at improving tsunami resilience for Hawai‘i residents and visitors.

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