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Bonamici’s Tsunami Warning, Education Provisions Set to Become Law

April 4, 2017
Press Release

Bipartisan Provisions included in Weather Bill Passed by House Today
Now Heads to President’s Desk to be Signed

WASHINGTON, DC [04/04/17] – Today Congresswomen Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) praised the House of Representatives for passing legislation to help prepare coastal communities for tsunami and update the United States’ tsunami warning systems. This legislation will strengthen tsunami detection and warning systems, improve response and resiliency, and better protect communities vulnerable to tsunami. The legislation would complement local and state efforts to prepare for tsunami.

Provisions similar to Bonamici and Herrera Beutler’s Tsunami Warning, Education, and Research Act were included in the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act passed by the House today. The legislation passed the Senate in March, and now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

“Preparing for tsunami is a life-or-death matter for residents of NW Oregon and other coastal communities,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “Congress took a step forward today by passing bipartisan legislation to improve our understanding of the threat posed by tsunami events and strengthen forecasting and notification systems. Students at Seaside High School in Oregon stepped up to educate their community about the risks of tsunami and now are rebuilding schools on higher ground. Now Congress is acting to improve warning systems and support state and local preparation efforts.”

Bonamici continued, “Passing this legislation was one of my first priorities when I came to Congress. Tsunami are among the most deadly natural disasters. It’s not a matter of ‘if;’ it’s a matter of ‘when.’ The legislation passed today will help protect coastal communities, just as hurricane forecasting protects states on the East Coast. I will work tirelessly with colleagues of both parties to make sure these critical programs receive the full funding needed to serve our communities.”

“When it comes to our coastal communities in Southwest Washington, preparedness for seismic and storm events is paramount. This solution will help make citizens safer and could save lives in the event of a tsunami,” said Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler. “I’m pleased to partner with Congresswoman Bonamici to get NOAA the resources and tools they need for tsunami warning education and research. The U.S. House is taking critical action today to protect the folks who live in communities up and down the Washington and Oregon coast.”

The Tsunami Warning, Education, and Research Act improves the tsunami warning system’s forecasts of tsunami arrival and damage estimates. The bill strengthens the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) hazard mitigation program through additional technical and financial assistance to communities, and it establishes a working group to provide advice about tsunami science and technology. The bill also supports development of community-based outreach and education programs to bolster community readiness and resilience.