The US Pacific coastal states continue to be at risk from both locally and distantly generated Tsunamis. During the past two centuries, all five states have been hit by Tsunamis which inflicted considerable causalities and damage. This susceptibility can be minimized by effective hazard management plans, better hazard mitigation practices and the construction of more hazard resistant structures such as steel reinforced concrete buildings. At the same time, no studies have been conducted to determine how local authority has incorporated Tsunami hazard management in their planning frameworks. The analysis of several costal counties in the states, indicate that most plans have a weak factual basis, unclear goals and objectives, weak policies, and a few coordination and implementation mechanisms. While the average plan quality score remains extremely low, there are counties which never mention Tsunami risks in their local plans in any way. In light of these lapses, this research focuses on the assessment of current Tsunami hazard management plans in the region. At a time of intense environmental uncertainties, regional assessment of Tsunami hazard management plans is not only vital, it offers the preamble for the design of disaster resistant measures. The research has four objectives. The first aim is to analyze the current issues in Tsunami hazard management planning. The second objective assesses the risks posed to the Pacific North West region while the third objective is centered on the evaluation of local plans. The fourth and last objective focuses on the identification of mitigation measures and the design of a decision support tool for policy makers. Preliminary finding show that Tsunami hazards are still not fully integrated into local plans in the region.
Merem, Edmund; Twumasi, Yaw; Wesley, Joan; and Robinson, Benetta, "Regional Assessment of Tsunami Hazard Management Plans: The Case of the US Pacific Northwest" (2011). DRU Workshop 2011 Presentations - Disaster Resistant University Workshop: Building Partnerships in Mitigation. Paper 20.