NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) — A Coastal Solution to Tsunami Alert and Notification

  • George L. Crawford


The Washington State/Local Tsunami Work Group adopted the NOAA Weather Radio “All-Hazards” Warning System to warn citizens quickly and effectively of not only tsunami hazards but also other natural or man-made hazards. In concert with an array of deep ocean tsunami detectors, land-based seismic sensors, and warning messages issued by the tsunami warning centers, NWR provides a means to expeditiously get critical decision-making information to emergency managers, elected officials, and first responders. To implement the NWR strategy effectively, a partnership was developed to add a repeater to the NWR system to provide complete coverage to the coast of Washington and to shipping lanes off the coast. The Work Group also recognized the need to disseminate time critical hazard information on tsunamis to the public on beaches and in high traffic areas, so it developed a new notification system, with the first prototype installed on 2 July 2003 in Ocean Shores, Washington. A public education program also was developed to improve the impacted communities’ understanding of the tsunami hazard, the warning system, and actions they should take if a tsunami occurs.

Key words

NOAA Weather Radio NOAA Weather Radio “All-Hazard” Warning System NWR Emergency Information Network All Hazard Alert Broadcasting Radio Tsunami Warning Messages 


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  1. Crawford, G. L.: 2001, Tsunami inundation preparedness in coastal communities. In: Proceedings of the International Tsunami Symposium 2001 (ITS 2001) (on CD-ROM), NTHMP Review Session, R-18, Seattle, WA, pp. 214–218. Scholar
  2. Johnston, D., Paton, D., Houghton, B., Becker, J., and Crumbie, G.: 2002, Results of the August–September 2001 Washington State Tsunami Survey. Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited, Lower Hutt, New Zealand.Google Scholar
  3. Oregon Emergency Management and the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries: 2001, Tsunami Warning Systems and Procedures Guidance for Local Officials. ODGAMI Special Paper 35.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • George L. Crawford
    • 1
  1. 1.Emergency Management DivisionWashington State Military DepartmentCamp MurrayUSA

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