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Elizabeth River with a Tugboat, Sailboat and the USS Wisconsin

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First East Coast Tsunami Ready City
The City of Norfolk became the first major East Coast city with a well designed tsunami emergency response plan to alert residents and visitors of tsunami threats, and evacuate areas if necessary on January 24, 2006.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agency responsible for tsunami and all severe weather warnings, officially recognized the City of Norfolk as the latest of 26 TsunamiReady communities along U.S. coasts. Norfolk was also recognized as StormReady, becoming one of nearly 1,000 communities across the country with a proactive approach to warning and educating the public about tornadoes, flooding and other severe weather.

To be recognized as TsunamiReady/StormReady, a community must:
  • Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center
  • Have multiple ways to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public
  • Create a system that monitors weather conditions locally
  • Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars
  • Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises
  • Signs are installed along the Chesapeake Bay telling people that if they hear a Tsunami warning or see a severe water drawback, they should head inland from the Bay or climb above the 4th floor of buildings.

What is a Tsunamis?
A tsunami (pronounced “soo-nah-mee”) is a series of ocean waves caused by any large, abrupt disturbance of the sea-surface. Earthquakes cause most tsunamis, but a tsunami can also be generated by landslides, volcanic activity, or rarely by meteor impact.

Additional Information
Tommy Tsunami Coloring Book