City of Yachats Tsunami Evacuation Exercise Successful
(06.27.18 – Yachats, Oregon)
The City of Yachats successfully completed its community tsunami evacuation exercise on Saturday, June 23 between 10:00 am and 11:00 am. Safety monitors observed 153 community members evacuate to high ground, with many of them bringing their pets and prepared “go bags”. The drill is part of a continuing commitment by the city to provide residents and visitors with relevant information and options for a variety of natural disasters – not just tsunamis, but earthquakes, wildfire and infrastructure failures.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office emergency notification system (Lincoln Alerts) provided an electronic notice 15 minutes prior to the exercise to community members who are signed up with the system. The event had also been advertised in the Newport News-Times, City of Yachats June newsletter, on two local Facebook pages, and flyers were distributed to local businesses and posted on bulletin boards. There was no siren, and traffic was not stopped, but ODOT reader boards and LCSO warning signs were placed on both ends of the small town.
Several public safety organizations assisted with the exercise: Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Patrol and Emergency Management, South Lincoln Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), City of Yachats Emergency Preparedness Committee volunteers, Yachats Rural Fire Protection District, Oregon Department of Transportation and City of Yachats staff.
A commemorative sticker was produced by Waldport High School for this year’s event and given to participants when they reached the 100-foot elevation mark. It is the City’s goal to make this exercise an annual activity to help community members and visitors to be “tsunami-ready” and well-informed.
The City received their NOAA “National Weather Service Tsunami-Ready City” status in 2012 and is required to conduct periodic exercises and community outreach. The Yachats Emergency Preparedness Committee will be presenting their findings and recommendations for planning improvements to Yachats City Council at a later date.
EP Committee Chair Marc Courtenay stated, “The Yachats Emergency Preparedness Committee appreciates the South Lincoln CERT Volunteers, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and the Yachats Rural Fire Protection District for their commitment to our community safety, and we extend a special thanks to the Yachats residents and visitors who participated in our event. We executed a safe, functional and effective exercise that we have learned from, and look forward to making recommendations to Yachats City Council. “
Tsunami public evacuation maps and routes can be found at www.oregontsunami.org, or stop by any city hall or public safety agency for printed maps of that area. If you wish to sign up for Lincoln Alerts (or if you are signed up and you did not get an alert for this exercise), please go to www.co.lincoln.or.us/alerts
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