U.S. Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program

Eddie Bernard
Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, USA.
Tel.: +1-206-526-6800, Fax: +1-206-526-6815,
E-mail: bernard@pmel.noaa.gov

An overview of the US Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tsunami-hazard) will be presented. The program is based on a model composed of three interdependent components hazard assessment, warning guidance, and mitigation. Hazard assessment, in which the nature and level of risk is established for each individual coastal community, is an essential first step in designing appropriate warning and mitigation systems. Warning guidance, which includes physical measurement, monitoring networks, forecast algorithms, and procedures for dissemination of warnings, can be designed to meet those needs identified by the local hazard assessment. Mitigation is then based on both the hazard assessment results and the nature of the warning guidance. The goal of mitigation efforts is to ensure an appropriate response to impending tsunami danger. This requires knowledge of areas that could be flooded (assessment) and recognition of the warning system's evacuation and "all-clear" communications (guidance). Without both pieces of information, the response could be inappropriate and fail to mitigate the tsunami hazard. Accomplishments in these components will be presented.