National Weather Service Makes Students Tsunami Ready

Tsunami hazard zone sign. (Photo by hansol / Flickr)

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Representatives from the National Weather Service visited schools in the City of Kodiak last week to speak about tsunami readiness.

Forecaster Joe Wegman says the original goal of visiting the city was to check in on the weather stations, where local observers keep track of things like daily temperature, precipitation, and snowfall.

“We provide them a number of instruments through that program. But, as you would know, after even a couple of years given all the rain that Kodiak usually gets, that those things start to grow mold and things on them. And so, there comes a point – rather than just the basic cleaning – where instruments, even though they may still working, still need to be replaced so that you’re getting the most accurate stuff.”

In previous years, the representatives got weathered in and weren’t able to visit the stations. So, they decided to add a second day in case of bad weather and talk with students about tsunami preparedness.

Forecaster David Kramer says the school lectures also fit into their efforts as part of their program to build awareness about tsunamis.

“Kodiak is one of our TsunamiReady partners, so we were able to speak to some of city officials like fire chief, and really see where the program is at, so we do yearly check-ins with TsunamiReady program and people went down to the harbormaster and talked to them for a while about everything that they work with with tsunami stuff and even storm ready things as well.”

The forecasters say they talked to students about how tsunamis form and how to notice one approaching. They say to look for the ocean retreating more than usual, for instance, and then move inland and go to the highest point possible.

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