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NOAA/NWS Tsunami Activities Financial Assistance

This page updated October 8, 2019

Since passage of the Tsunami Warning, Education, and Research Act in 2017 (P.L. 115-25, Title V) and its predecessor legislation in 2007 (TWEA, P.L. 109-479 Title VIII), Congress has authorized and directed NOAA's National Weather Service to provide financial assistance to states, territories, (and new eligibility in 2017--local governments and Tribes) under the auspices of the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program.

From federal fiscal year 2008 through 2019 (summary here), NOAA has invested or approved investment for a total of 18 prime and 38 subaward recipients who work to fulfill the NTHMP mission "to mitigate the impact of tsunamis through public education, community response planning, hazard assessment, and warning coordination."

Safer U.S. Shores: Grant Investment Activities Report summarizes the investments made by NOAA's National Weather Service to mitigate the threat of tsunamis through Tsunami Financial Assistance Grants to partners from FY08 through FY15.

Financial Assistance awarded in FY19 by Activity Category

Category Descriptions:

  • Hazard Assessment and Mapping: Defining the coastal tsunami hazard, projecting populations and property at risk, and developing easily understood maps that identify tsunami hazard areas and evacuation routes.
  • Community Preparedness: Developing tsunami outreach materials, such as maps, brochures, posters, videos, kiosks, and exhibits; promoting and conducting tsunami education and outreach; purchasing and installing tsunami signs and providing guidance on sign placement; supporting pedestrian evacuation analysis; and communicating community needs to federal tsunami and earthquake hazard mitigation programs.
  • Public Notification and Warning: Purchasing, installing, and maintaining outdoor warning siren systems; enhancing and upgrading notification system infrastructure; installing National Weather Service Emergency Management Weather Information Network (EMWIN) systems; purchasing and distributing NOAA Weather Radios; and translating alerts into foreign languages for local Emergency Alert Systems.
  • Sustain Tsunami Capability and Build Resilience: Conducting local and state drills and exercises to test response plans and improve recovery capabilities; training local and state officials, emergency managers, law enforcement and fire department personnel, maritime and public works authorities, and volunteers about the threat and community response plans; and hiring staff in NTHMP partner state offices to manage NTHMP-related projects.
  • NTHMP Participation and Workshops: Staff time to participate in NTHMP meetings, technical workshops, and production of the NTHMP newsletter TsuInfo Alert.

NOAA/NWS Tsunami Activities Financial Assistance for FY19 Cycle

NOAA's National Weather Service is pleased to announce $5,363,882 for projects and support to make coastal communities throughout the United States and its territories safer from tsunamis. This includes $389,133 in intra-NOAA transfers of funds for projects being carried out by NOAA entities on behalf of states.

FY19 NOAA/NWS Tsunami Financial Assistance for the performance period from September 1, 2019, through August 31, 2020, have been awarded to 10 prime recipients and 13 subaward recipients.

Two regular recipients (CNMI and Guam) were unable to complete tasks on previous grants, so these territories chose not to submit an application for FY19 grant funding. Each territory was given an extension on earlier grants to complete unfinished work.

The FY19 grant awards support these tasks:

Grant Recipient Activity
Alaska Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

University of Alaska/Fairbanks [UAF]

[Prime]   Conduct community outreach visits and development of tsunami education materials.
[Prime and UAF]   Travel for the Emergency Management member and Science member of the NTHMP Coordinating Committee to NTHMP meetings and a Powell Center workshop.
[UAF]   Publish technical reports and Approximate Tsunami Hazard Zone Boundaries for 11 communities in the Kodiak and Aleutian Islands, south-central and southeast Alaska.
[Prime]   Conduct two-and-a-half day workshop that discusses the science of tsunamis, local threat, preparedness, warning and alerting procedures, as well as response and recovery for community leaders and local emergency managers.
[UAF]   Publish and present the technical reports for highly threatened communities: Akohok, Chiniak, and Old Harbor.
[UAF]   Conduct high-resolution mapping and technical reports for Ouzinkie and Port Lions.
[UAF]   Estimate tsunami currents in two harbors of southeastern Alaska.
[UAF]  Design and print evacuation brochures for 9 communities.
[Prime]   Conduct tsunami siren status checks/evaluation.
American Samoa Department of Homeland Security

University of Hawaii [UofH]

[Prime]   Travel: 2 NTHMP meetings for one person each; travel to outer islands for outreach and siren maintenance; siren maintenance training; two-Samoa meeting.
[Prime]   Tsunami kiosks, billboards, posters, advertisements, brochures; evacuation drill filming; tsunami annex workshop.
[Prime]   Tsunami exercise support.
[UofH]   Tsunami mapping and modeling, phase 3 for harbor at Manu'a.
[Prime]   Production of tsunami evacuation maps.
[Prime]   Siren system maintenance.
[Prime]  Workstation license for ARCGIS software and production of local maps.
[Prime]  NOAA Weather Radios for schools in or near tsunami inundation zones.
California Office of Emergency Services


California Geological Survey [CGS]

Humboldt State University [HSU]

University of Southern California [USC]

[Prime, CGS & USC]   Tsunami Preparedness: Continue local outreach, workshop, training, exercise activities. Two state tsunami steering committee meetings. Develop guidance for tsunami hazard in planning. Develop new outreach materials. Support Tsunami Preparedness Week through subaward to USC/SCEC.
[CGS]   Inundation and Evacuation Zone Improvements. Meetings and workshops with local communities to get feedback for maps in their jurisdictions; Review submarine landslide threats; support Southern Cascadia Work Group.
[Prime and CGS]   Update total water level calcuations; update mapping for Playbooks; populate Basecamp information exchange; support scientific observation teams; provide decision-support guidance.
[Prime and HSU]  Ongoing TsunamiReady support for signage; support for Redwood Coast Tsunami Work Group; 5 maritime communities recognized as TsunamiReady by NWS; work with Fairhaven, CA, on vertical evacuation planning; explore potential locations for vertical evacuation.
[CGS]   Maritime tsunami response--plan development, outreach, and playbooks for selected ports and harbors.
[CGS]   Further develop real-time tsunami observation webcam network for California.
[Prime and USC]   Support ongoing maintenance of, and on-line system available to catalog participation in tsunami activities, outreach, and exercises.
[CGS]   Develop a tsunami source database to support goals of the NTHMP Mapping & Modeling Subcommittee.
[Prime and CGS]   Participation by Emergency Management and Science Members of the NTHMP Coordinating Committee in NTHMP annual and subcommittee meetings.
Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands

[Extension for work awarded in FY18]

[Prime]   Procure and install 3 fixed tsunami sirens for Saipan to fill gaps; conduct siren outreach/education on Tinian.
[Prime]   conduct tsunami outreach and education; conduct tsunami exercises with key staff and stakeholders.
[Prime]   Purchase and distribute tsunami education materials.
[Prime]   Purchase and replace tsunami signage for the island of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.
[Prime]   Participation by Emergency Management Member of the NTHMP Coordinating Committee in NTHMP annual and Mitigation & Education Subcommittee meeting. Science member for CNMI is a NOAA employee and is ineligible for grant-funded travel.
East Coast
Northeast States Emergency Consortium

University of Delaware [UDEL]
University of Rhode Island [URI]

[Prime, UDEL, URI] Review and update 5-year plan of gap analysis of tsunami hazard assessment and inundation mapping completed along the East Coast during 2010-2018.
[UDEL, URI]   Develop new type of detailed local inundation map for one selected East Coast site; develop 2 detailed local hazard maps; detailed local hazard mapping considering potential dune erosion.
[UDEL, URI]   Develop and map new overall (regional) tsunami hazard products based on tsunami arrival time.
[UDEL, URI]   Initiate comprehensive probablistic tsunami hazard analysis by developing, parameterizing, modeling the coastal hazard, and archiving results for a collection of co-seismic sub-sources.
[UDEL, URI]   Develop overall regional hazard products for meteotsunamis.
[Prime]   Use HAZUS software to develop a preliminary estimate of population, property and critical facilities at risk to an East Coast tsunami.
[Prime, UDEL, URI]   Travel to participate in NTHMP meetings by emergency management and science members.
Guam Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

[Extension for work awarded in FY18]

[Prime]   Procure and install 3 sirens to fill gaps along the southern and central coastal villages; maintain tsunami evacuation signage throughout the island.
[Prime]   Participate in PRiMO Conference and collaborate with CNMI.
[Prime]   Print tsunami evacuation maps and conduct proactive outreach and education.
[Prime]   Continue Tsunami Preparedness Outreach and Community Education Campaign; print 50,000 copies each of Guam tsunami brochure, evacuation wheels, Tsunami Ready cards and Tsunami Mikenna poster; prepare media kit.
[Prime]   Participation by Emergency Management Member of the NTHMP Coordinating Committee in NTHMP annual and Mitigation & Education Subcommittee meetings.
Gulf of Mexico
Texas A&M University at Galveston
[Prime]   Two tsunami inundation maps for Gulf of Mexico for the Jamaica Beach region of Texas and Anna Maria Island, Long Boat Key, and north part of Siesta Key, Florida.
[Prime]   Temporal-low-order inundation maps for tsunami hazard areas (communities) where inundation studies have not yet been assigned/executed or where little bathymetric and elevation data exists.
[Prime]   Characterization and identification of meteotsunami in the Gulf of Mexico region.
[Prime]   Participation by Science Member and Emergency Management member of the NTHMP Coordinating Committee in NTHMP annual and MMS subcommittee meetings; participation at the National Hurricane Conference for Gulf of Mexico tsunami awareness workshop.
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency


University of Hawaii [UofH]

Pacific Tsunami Museum [PTM]

[Prime & PTM]   Conduct proactive tsunami education and outreach for schools and support Pacific Tsunami Museum.
[UofH]   Tsunami Harbor Risk Maps for Kaunakakai Harbor on Molokai and Kaumalapau Harbor on Lanai.
[UofH]   Prepare broadcast messages for use on foreign language radio stations throughout Hawaii.
[Prime]   Develop probable maximum scenarios for local tsunamis for Hawaii.
[Prime & PTM]   Update 2011 Japan earthquake & tsunami exhibit.
[Prime & UofH]   Develop tsunmi scenario impacts library.
[Prime and UofH]   Participation by Emergency Management and Science Members of the NTHMP Coordinating Committee in NTHMP annual and subcommittee meetings and Landslide Workshop.
Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI)

Oregon Office of Emergency Management [OEM]

[Prime and OEM]   Participation by Emergency Management and Science Members of the NTHMP Coordinating Committee in NTHMP annual and subcommittee meetings; participation by Science Member in Powell Center Tsunami Source Workshop.
[Prime and OEM]   Outreach and education. Support for DOGAMI to give talks and meet with community leaders; Maintenance of the Tsunami Clearinghouse website; Produce high resolution tsunami evacuation maps.
[Prime and OEM]   Conduct evacuation difficulty analysis of Gold Beach and Nesika Beach; Complete new "Beat the Wave" tsunami evacuation maps; improve tsunami evacuation wayfinding in coastal counties.
[Prime]    HAZUS Risk and Exposure Analyses for Lincoln County and at Coos Bay/North Bend.
[Prime and OEM]   Improve evacuation planning capacity in 4 coastal communities.
[Prime]   Update and revise tsunami inundation models and maps in Clatsop and Tillamook Counties.
[OEM]   Produce community tsunami disaster cache guidance.
Puerto Rico Seismic Network (PRSN)

Based at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez

Subawardee: Puerto Rico Emergency Management Bureau (PREMB)

[Prime & PREMB]    State and Local TsunamiReady Program implementation and maintenance: 1) Support all communities whose TsunamiReady recognition is expiring within the grant year to renew; 2) Keep TsunamiReady inventories up to date; 3) Organize and participate in educational events throughout Puerto Rico.
[Prime]    Conduct tsunami evacuation pedestrian analyses for Isabela and Lajas; updated selected tsunami inundation maps.
[Prime & PREMB]   Participation by Science Member and Emergency Management Member of the NTHMP Coordinating Committee in NTHMP annual and subcommittee meetings.
[Prime & PREMB]    Coordinate with CaribeWave 2020 exercise; assist with participation in monthly comms tests; maintain and deploy 10 new EMWIN systems for selected coastal municipalities.
[Prime]   Outreach: Continue the education program on tsunamis through the partnership with the Puerto Rico Broadcasters Association.
U.S. Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) [Prime]    Project supervision and inter-island travel for Tsunami Coordinator.
[Prime]    Participation by Emergency Management and Science Members of the NTHMP Coordinating Committee in NTHMP annual and subcommittee meetings.
State of Washington Division of Emergency Management

Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

University of Washington (UW)

[Prime]   Tsunami warning siren support: satellite time; licensing fee; parts; travel for maintenance; support staff time.
[Prime]   Conduct tsunami education and outreach; roadshow presentations; quarterly stakeholder meetings; vertical evacuation workshops, printing materials to support outreach.
[UW]   Tsunami vertical evacuation structure gap analysis.
[Prime & DNR]   Participation by Emergency Management and Science Members of the NTHMP Coordinating Committee in NTHMP annual and subcommittee meetings. Travel to one Powell Center tsunami sources workshop.
[DNR]   Tsunami animation upgrade and online viewer.
[DNR]   Produce final maps and text describing model results for l1 and Seattle fault inundation and current velocity for the Hood Canal, and l1 model results for northern Whatcom County.
[UW]   Tsunami Hazard Assessment (THA) modeling study of central/northern outer coast.
[Prime]   Maritime response playbook and mitigation plan development and conducting education and outreach focused on Maritime and inner coast stakeholders.
[DNR]   Continue production of bi-monthly TsuInfo Alert newsletter.
[Prime]  Install new tsunami evacuation and/or hazard zone signs in tsunami threatened communities and replace damaged/stolen signs.
[NOAA / PMEL]   Tsunami Hazard Assessment modeling study (See IntraNOAA transfers below.)
Intra-NOAA Transfers to support NTHMP Activities

NOAA entities may not bill states for services paid by grant funds. $389,133 in intra-NOAA transfers cover costs to NOAA entities for NTHMP partner support listed to the right.

[PMEL]   Conduct a tsunami hazard assessment (THA) modeling study of an area on the outer coast of WA State covering the region between 48.075N and 47.750N. The area extends from approximately Yellow Banks Campground, in the proximity of Ozette Lake in Calallan County to the mouth of the Hoh River in Jefferson County and will include the community of LaPush, WA. Work to be performed by NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) to support the State of Washington.
[NCEI]   Four Digital Elevation Models determined by NTHMP's Mapping and Modeling Subcommittee as priorities to be developed by NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) on behalf of NTHMP Mapping & Modeling Subcommittee priorities.

More Information

For questions on activities listed above, please contact the respective Principal Investigators, noted here.

For general information about NOAA/NWS Tsunami Financial Assistance Grants, contact:

Rocky Lopes
NTHMP Program Administrator
NOAA/National Weather Service, Tsunami Program
1325 East West Highway, MS AFS26
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 427-9380

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