Next week is Tsunami Preparedness Week, and emergency planners in cities and towns along Alaska’s coastline will urge residents to make sure they know what to do in the event of a tsunami. Kodiak residents are no strangers to this type of preparedness. After all, community members are reminded of tsunamis each Wednesday at 2 p.m. when the siren blasts throughout the borough.
Weekly sirens don’t take place in every coastal community, but next Wednesday there will be a statewide test of all alarm systems at 9:45 a.m. That is, all but one. Duane Dvorak is an associate planner for the community development department with the Kodiak Island Borough and said Kodiak will not participate in the morning siren next Wednesday.
— (Tsunami 1 :08 “We’re going to continue to do it at 2 p.m … different time.”)
Dvorak said people are so accustomed to the 2 p.m. siren that playing it at a different time, no matter the publicity beforehand, would nonetheless send some folks into panic. He joked that the Wednesday warning is so familiar that hopefully no tsunami ever comes during that time, which begged the question – what would happen if a tsunami warning was needed at 2 p.m. on a Wednesday? Dvorak said the siren would just keep playing.
— (Tsunami 2 :31 “I mean after five or ten minutes I think … shaking stops.”)
For more information on tsunami preparedness you can visit NOAA’s West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center online at WCATWC dot ARH dot NOAA dot gov. We also have a link to the Kodiak Area Emergency Preparedness Guide on our website at KMXT dot ORG.