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2012 Tsunami Hazard/Risk Analysis Workshop

Initial Findings

The NTHMP MMS and MES met both before (July 23-24) and after the tsunami hazard/risk workshop (July 27) to discuss purpose, outcomes, and applications.  In conjunction with these meetings, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Committee on Tsunami Loads met (July 27-28) to discuss improvements to tsunami load requirements in future building codes.
Based on the workshop presentations and discussions, associated MMS and MES meetings, and discussions with ASCE committee members, the following initial findings were:

  • The NTHMP MMS and MES recommend completion of an update to the 2008 National Tsunami Hazard Assessment (Dunbar and Weaver, 2008).  This update should include new information from tsunami hazard analyses and inundation mapping projects for each state and territory, as well as other hazard assessment and analysis tools developed at the federal and state level.
  • The NTHMP MMS recommends that all new hazard analysis techniques included in the 2013-2017 NTHMP Strategic Plan assist coastal communities with tsunami preparedness and mitigation activities.  Strategies should focus on improving tsunami hazard analysis for emergency response planning, maritime planning, and land-use planning in the U.S.  This coordination would result in the production of consistent, accurate, and cost-effective tsunami hazard mitigation and preparedness products for coastal communities.
  • The MMS recommends reviewing existing tsunami hazard analysis methods and products to develop guidance for consistent national applications.  These include, but are not limited to (parentheses = preliminary efforts underway in some states):  1) maps identifying possible location of strong currents and offshore safety zones for maritime communities (Oregon, Puerto Rico, and California); 2) probabilistic tsunami hazard analysis (PTHA) products being developed for land-use planning and building codes (California, Hawaii, Oregon, and the East Coast); and, 3) tsunami evacuation modeling to help improve egress and determine if and where vertical evacuation is appropriate (Washington and Oregon).  With reduced direct NTHMP funding available, continued collaboration between NTHMP federal and state partners would help identify support and funding for these efforts at the community level.
  • With a goal of working towards fulfilling calls for a national risk assessment, the MMS and MES recommend continuing to explore scientifically sound ways to produce such a product, should data and funding become available to effectively complete such a task.  Perhaps work underway to develop PTHA products and a FEMA tsunami HAZUS module could be leveraged to assist with completion of a simplistic and cost-effective national risk assessment.




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