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San Mateo County Health websites
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2010

Cal EMA CONTACT
Greg Renick, Information Officer
562-577-8503
OR media@calema.ca.gov

Cal EMA Joins Local and National Partners to Test Tsunami Warning Communications in Northern California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – On Wednesday, March 24, 2010, the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) will join local and national emergency management partners to test the tsunami warning communications systems in Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino Counties. The test is part of California’s Tsunami Awareness Week and is a cooperative effort between Cal EMA, NOAA’s National Weather Service, California Broadcasters Association and local emergency management officials in those north coast counties.

“Recently, the world watched as the impacts of the Chilean Earthquake unfolded causing a tsunami that put California on alert with a tsunami advisory. This week’s tsunami test is timely, and is one of the many ways we work to prepare our residents and emergency managers for the very real possibility of a damaging tsunami along California’s coastal communities,” said Cal EMA Secretary Matthew Bettenhausen. “I’d like to extend my appreciation to everyone who worked cooperatively to test this system and continue to develop more effective preparedness plans.”

The emergency test will begin at 10:15 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time, and will be broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, local television and radio stations, and residents in some communities may hear warning sirens. To avoid any confusion with an actual alert, the test will be canceled if there is excessive seismic activity 24 hours prior to the test.

Many television systems are programmed to scroll a standard emergency alert text message and, in some cases, the message may not contain the word “TEST.” An audio message will say that the message is only a test, but if the volume is turned down or otherwise unheard, viewers may not realize the message is a test.

People monitoring the test in coastal areas who do not receive it are asked to inform their local National Weather Service office. The public can provide feedback online at http://www.tsunami.gov/test.

During California’s Tsunami Awareness Week, Cal EMA urges coastal residents to review information on what to do in the event of a tsunami. NOAA’s West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center Web site, http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov, offers complete information, including the current status of tsunami watches, warnings and advisories.

For more information, please visit:

The California Emergency Management Agency at www.calema.ca.gov and NOAA’s West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center at: http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov

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