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Executive Office of the President of the United States seal National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program

About the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP)

The NTHMP was formed in 1995 by Congressional action which directed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to form and lead a Federal/State working group. The Congressional action was the result of recognition in 1990 of the tsunami threat to Oregon, Washington, and northern California from a magnitude 9 earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone, the April 1992 earthquake and tsunami on the Cascadia subduction zone in northern California, and the loss of life and property in Japan due to the 1994 Hokkaido, Japan earthquake and tsunami. These events, together with the historic Alaska tsunamis of 1946 and 1964, brought to light the general lack of tsunami preparedness and hazard assessment for the U.S. west coast and the need for significant improvement in tsunami detection and forecasting. The NTHMP is a partnership between NOAA, the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the 28 U.S. Coastal States Territories, and Commonwealths.

The NTHMP is designed to reduce the impact of tsunamis through hazard assessment, warning guidance, and mitigation. NTHMP Hazard Assessment, through the NTHMP Mapping and Modeling Subcommittee, works toward the production of tsunami inundation maps, based on long-term tsunami forecasts, for use in community planning, standardized data archives, and the understanding of historical tsunami events. Warning Guidance, through the NTHMP Warning Coordination Subcommittee, addresses improving tsunami warnings and associated information, seismic data acquisition and processing, and warning communications. Mitigation, through the NTHMP Mitigation Subcommittee, works toward improving: outreach activities; hazard mitigation planning; evacuation planning; educational material development; NOAA's TsunamiReady program; public education; tsunami workshops; tsunami evacuation exercises; and land-use planning. These components of NTHMP are a part of a strong and active partnership between federal, state and territorial agencies. This partnership enables all levels of government to quickly assess potential problems with the U.S. Tsunami Warning System (including response at the state and local levels) and work toward giving the greatest benefit to tax payers and our partners with the goal of saving lives and reducing damage to property and the economy.

Primary goals of NTHMP are to: 1) raise awareness of the affected population; 2) develop integrated tsunami maps and models that can be used to develop improved warning guidance and evacuation maps; 3) improve tsunami warning systems; 4) incorporate tsunami planning into state and federal multi-hazard programs. Because tsunami mitigation is applicable beyond tsunamis and is integral to the nation's overall effort to reduce coastal losses and improve resilience, the mitigation capability takes a multi-hazards physical, commercial and ecological approach that responds to socio-economic and disaster management priorities.

Additional background documents:

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