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FEMAs Role in Tsunami Mitigation NOAA East-Gulf Coast Caribbean Tsunami Conference June 10, 2011 Sandra Knight, Deputy Federal Insurance and Mitigation.

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Presentation on theme: "FEMAs Role in Tsunami Mitigation NOAA East-Gulf Coast Caribbean Tsunami Conference June 10, 2011 Sandra Knight, Deputy Federal Insurance and Mitigation."— Presentation transcript:

1 FEMAs Role in Tsunami Mitigation NOAA East-Gulf Coast Caribbean Tsunami Conference June 10, 2011 Sandra Knight, Deputy Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administrator, Mitigation Federal Emergency Management Agency

2 FEMAs Role in Tsunami Mitigation FEMA has been addressing the tsunami risk, through: – National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP), – National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), – National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), including the Community Rating System (CRS), – Post disaster Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), – FEMA response and recovery planning. 2

3 FEMAs Role in NTHMP FEMA is a partner in the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP) – Along with the USGS and coastal State agencies. We work within the NTHMP Coordinating Committee and the Mitigation Subcommittee to help improve tsunami planning, public awareness, and mitigation. FEMA also works with State and local agencies to use their State tsunami inundation evacuation mapping as the basis for preparedness and mitigation planning and to improve public awareness. 3

4 State and Local Actions Several coastal States have developed State Mitigation Plans that include addressing tsunami. Several communities within these States have also developed Mitigation plans that include tsunami hazard. Many communities have recognized their tsunami risk and are addressing it along with other hazards: – Several coastal counties have FEMA approved multi-hazard mitigation plans that include tsunami chapters. – Some plans include tsunami mitigation actions to protect public and critical facilities. – At least two communities, Seaside and Cannon Beach, OR have completed mitigation activities using local funding. 4

5 FEMAs Role in Reducing Risk Focus has been in the high risk States (Pacific Northwest, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico) since this is where the largest number of tsunamis and fatalities have occurred. The greatest risk to the U.S. would be a tsunami generated by an earthquake on the Caribbean or Cascadia subduction zones, which would give the population less than 30 minutes of warning time. NTHMP has been expanded to all at-risk coastal states. NOAA also holds a Tsunami Awareness Week. FEMA support includes exercises, information sharing, and drills. 5

6 FEMAs Role in Reducing Risk Some tsunami-related planning and mitigation projects can be funded under FEMA all-hazard programs. FEMAs post-disaster Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) can fund tsunami mitigation pilot projects. For example, FEMA supported the development of a Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program and projects in Puerto Rico with HMGP funds after Hurricane Georges. FEMAs Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program (PDM) does not presently recognize tsunami as a fundable hazard. Need exists to better align grant policies with NOAA, FEMA- Mitigation and FEMA-Preparedness. 6

7 FEMAs Role under NEHRP Tsunami is an earthquake-related hazard under National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program, so improving tsunami hazard awareness, planning, and mitigation is a goal of FEMA and its NEHRP partners. FEMA funds the public/private consortium Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW). They have developed a subduction zone earthquake scenario for planning for local corporations and government entities. FEMA is working with the at-risk States to increase public tsunami awareness through NEHRP programs. 7

8 National Flood Insurance Program FEMA identifies flood-prone areas and develops and distributes Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) to over 21,000 participating communities. FEMA has been modernizing its FIRMs through its Risk Map Program. Risk Map is intended to include to be all-hazard. FEMA has included tsunami wave heights on FIRMs since the 1970s for areas of the West Coast, Hawaii, and other Pacific Islands where tsunami is the primary flood hazard. 8

9 NFIP Tsunami Flood Mapping NFIP FIRMs provide a 1% annual chance of flood risk information for flood insurance rating purposes. Tsunami wave heights normalized to a 1% annual chance event may not show the true potential threat since the maximum tsunami inundation could be much greater than a 1% annual chance limitation. Except for areas like Hawaii where tsunami is the primary hazard, NFIP has elected to not provide tsunami inundation zones on FIRMs. Digital FIRMs will allow a community to overlay their own tsunami inundation maps independent of recurrence frequency if they wish. 9

10 Flood Loss Reduction Activities The NFIP Community Rating System (CRS) creates an incentive for communities to help minimize tsunami risk. Through CRS, the cost of flood insurance can be reduced in communities that exceed NFIP minimum requirements. CRS provides credit when local governments: – Map tsunami run-up areas – Acquire tsunami hazard areas for open space uses. – Zone tsunami hazard areas for open space uses. – Adopt land use planning measures to control development. – Require new structures be built at or above the tsunami elevation. – Prohibit new critical facilities in tsunami hazard areas and adopt tsunami construction requirements. – Develop local public information and education programs. – Receive the NOAA TsunamiReady designation. 10

11 FEMAs Tsunami Risk Assessment HAZUS MH, is FEMAs nationally applicable GIS-based loss estimation software for earthquakes, wind, and flood. HAZUS is widely used for local/regional planning for mitigation as well as post-event assessment. There is currently no HAZUS tsunami module, although a 2006 GAO report recommended NOAA work with FEMA/USGS. FEMA is exploring possible funding vehicles and partnerships to develop a HAZUS tsunami module. More information on HAZUS: 11

12 Tsunami Evacuation Issues Tsunami warning is based on being able to evacuate at- risk population to high ground. Current warning systems focus on far-source events; for near source, the earthquake is the warning. For a near-source event, warning time is can be as little as 15 to 30 minutes. For many coastal communities, this is not sufficient time for evacuation to high ground. In those cases, the best solution is vertical evacuation to specially designed refuge structures. 12

13 Tsunami Evacuation Issues Currently there are no building codes for tsunami vertical evacuation refuge structures. Very few local codes, such as some in Hawaii, provide some tsunami-related criteria, but they do not adequately address all issues. Need for design guidance for special structures to survive tsunami and earthquake loads. 13

14 Refuge Design Guide Document Technical design guidance for special facilities for vertical evacuation. Refuge must be able to withstand loads from both earthquake ground shaking and from multiple tsunami waves and debris and still remain functional. A joint FEMA/NOAA publication distributed by FEMA as FEMA P-646. Encourages multiple use structures such as parking garages, community centers, hotels, etc. Includes criteria for mounds for artificial high ground. 14 Guidelines for Design of Structures for Vertical Evacuation From Tsunamis

15 State and Local Officials Guide A companion guide for State and local community officials on how to design and operate a tsunami refuge design guidance. No specific Federal construction funds are available, but the guide describes how such a refuge facility could qualify for Federal grants. Jointly funded by FEMA & NOAA; distributed as FEMA P-646A. 15

16 Tsunami in the Building Codes FEMA Building Science staff, with NOAA support, prepared, submitted and successfully defended a code change for the 2012 International Building Code. The change adds a new Appendix M that, if adopted by a State and community, restricts the construction of high occupancy, high risk, or critical facilities within a communitys tsunami inundation zone, unless it is a vertical evacuation refuge built according to FEMA P-646. American Society of Civil Engineers ASCE 7 Design Load Standard working on a new tsunami chapter, which if passes, would be adopted into a future edition of the IBC. 16

17 Performance of Structures in Chile 17 Above: Tsunami waves destroyed conventional housing in Dichato. Right: Tsunami debris, such as shipping containers, destroyed several industrial port buildings in Talcahuano.

18 Performance of Structures in Chile 18 Both concrete residential buildings in Dichato had tsunami waves impact the second floor, yet both survived and could have been used for vertical evacuation had residents not been able to evacuate to high ground.

19 Performance of Structures in Japan 19 While wood buildings were destroyed, many concrete buildings survived the tsunami.

20 Tsunami Damage to Japan Engineered Buildings

21 Conclusion Tsunamis are very rare events but ones with very high consequences, as shown in the Indian Ocean and Japan. As rare events, they tend to fall below the attention level of the American public. However, we can take actions that will improve their protection. We need to be able to help provide the tools that States and local communities need to be able to address their risk from this rare but potentially catastrophic hazard. Because of the large numbers of people that are at risk, we continue to work to improve preparedness and awareness, and reduce the risk from future tsunamis. 21

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