People of the Oregon coast critically need accurate educational materials and effective mitigation tools to prepare for both distant tsunamis and the next great Cascadia earthquake and a local tsunami. When, not if, the next great Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake strikes the Pacific Northwest, Oregon will OOface the greatest challenge in its history. Oregon’s buildings, transportation network, utilities and population are simply not prepared for such an event. Were it to occur today, thousands of Oregonians would die, and economic losses would be at least $32 billion.
Tsunamis are a low frequency natural hazard in Oregon and are restricted almost exclusively to coastal areas. However, when they do occur they can be very destructive, especially if the tsunami is generated by a subduction zone earthquake immediately offshore of the coast. The coasts of Washington, Oregon, and northern California are particularly vulnerable to tsunamis from magnitude 9+ earthquakes that occur about every 500 years on the Cascadia Subduction Zone. In addition, smaller tsunamis and earthquakes occur in the subduction zone south of Waldport. Recurrence on the southern coastline for a partial rupture of the Cascadia Subduction Zone is ~300 years.
Visitors to the Oregon coast may not be aware of this hazard. This population is particularly vulnerable to disasters because they are separated from their normal support systems. The goal of this project will be to enable hospitality providers to inform their guests about the tsunami hazard in a positive way and to train professionals on how to prepare for tsunami events on the coast.
Goals and strategies
The purpose of the Oregon Coast Visitor Tsunami Awareness project is to improve the visitor’s awareness of the tsunami hazards and to support the hospitality industry on the Oregon coast in becoming more prepared for tsunami events. It is being funded by the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP), a part of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
As part of this project, several products will be created and made available, free of charge to hospitality groups. These products will be:
A short video that can be played on in-room television channels
Publications that can be added to guest room guide/ notebooks
Training that will be available to businesses
Single source of templates for facility use and BMP industry resources (Web accessible)
The outcome of this project will be improved preparedness by businesses serving the visitors to the Oregon coast and an improvement of tsunami awareness by our guests.
Visitors to the Oregon coast come from around the world and most will not know that earthquakes and tsunamis are hazards here. It is our responsibility to make sure that they are safe while they are our guests.
We hope that the video will be shown widely on the in-room channels, and on hotel lobby screens. The publications can be tailored to your business branding and easily added to the guest room information notebooks.
The time line:
February 19, 2014 Kick-off meeting
March-April Video production
March-April In-person meeting/ Lincoln City
March-May Publication production
May In-person meeting
May-June Develop and test training workshops
July 31, 2014 End of project cycle