Andrea Marvin, Communications Manager, Blue Lake Rancheria
The Annual Tsunami Warning Communications Test, which was scheduled for late March, has been cancelled this year along the North Coast.
During the recent Redwood Coast Tsunami Work Group meeting at the Blue Lake Rancheria, emergency officials determined to not conduct the communications test, stating the recent government shutdown left them unprepared.
“Because of the government shutdown, it didn’t give us proper time to prepare for it,” Kerry Sherin, co-chair of the Redwood Coast Tsunami Work Group, said.
During the yearly communications test, the emergency alert system is activated, and notifications are broadcasted over the television or radio, while residents may hear tsunami sirens sound, and observe planes flying along the coast with an audible message.
The National Weather Service in Eureka announced on social media in part:
Due to several mitigating factors, including reduced time to prepare for the test due to the government shutdown, a Wireless Emergency Alert test being conducted in the San Francisco Bay Area, FCC waiver issues, and others, it was determined that it would be best to not conduct the test this year.
There was too much risk for confusion that could have resulted in unnecessary evacuations for a test.
Some emergency communications systems will be tested later this month in Northwest California as part of Tsunami Preparedness Weeks. Of note are the Humboldt Alert Emergency Notification System on March 20th, the Del Norte Community Alert System on March 27th, and sirens in Shelter Cove on the 20th. Some other local communities may also conduct exercises or drills.
The National Weather Service plans to resume the tsunami communications test in March of 2020.
There will still be a full week of tsunami activities throughout the North Coast during Tsunami Preparedness Week, March 18-22, which is a great time to prepare your family and home for an emergency.
For more information: https://www.facebook.com/RCTWG/ mso-fareas