National Weather Service Recognizes Toa Baja as TsunamiReady™
From left to right Christa Von-Hillebrandt, Caribbean Tsunami Program Manager, Pedro J. Santiago Vice-mayor Toa Baja, Bill Proenza NWS Southern Region Director, Hon.Aníbal Vega Borges Toa Baja Mayor, Israel Matos WFO SJU MIC, and seated Heriberto Sauri PREMA Director.
Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, has earned the National Weather Service TsunamiReady™ designation, better equipping emergency managers to prepare and warn its citizens about tsunamis.
The Toa Baja emergency management team fulfilled a rigorous set of warning communication and evacuation planning criteria that establish preparedness standards for tsunami with the cooperation and support of the Puerto Rico Seismic Network and the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency.
With this designation Toa Baja joined the communities of Aguada, Aguadilla, Anasco, Carolina, Cabo Rojo, Dorado, Isabela, Lajas, Manatí, Mayaguez, Ponce, Rincón, Quebradillas and Guayama as TsunamiReady™.
Bill Proenza, Director for National Weather Service Southern region, Israel Matos, Meteorologist-in-Charge of the National Weather Service San Juan Office, Christa Von-Hillebrandt, Caribbean Tsunami Warning Program Manager, Victor Huerfano, Puerto Rico Seismic Network Director presented the Toa Baja City Mayor with a recognition certificate, and TsunamiReady™ road signs. The TsunamiReady™ process is ongoing and the city will be up for renewed recognition in three years
To be recognized as TsunamiReady™ , a community must:
- Establish a 24-hour center for receiving National Weather Service warnings and activating local warning systems.
- Have more than one way to alert the public about tsunami warnings.
- Promote public readiness through community education and the distribution of information.
- Develop a formal tsunami plan, which includes holding emergency exercises.The National Weather Service is encouraging coastal residents to take steps to prepare for a tsunami. “Preparation for disaster is everyone's responsibility. Develop your own emergency response plan, keep a disaster supply kit on hand and learn the tsunami warning signs,” Matos said. The TsunamiReady™ program is part of NOAA National Weather Service's working partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers, the National Emergency Management Association and the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program. The TsunamiReady™ and StormReady® designation must be renewed after three years.