Maui News

Schatz Announces Nearly $500,000 in Funding for Tsunami Preparedness

August 21, 2015, 4:23 PM HST
* Updated August 21, 4:24 PM
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Tsunami effects at Kahului Harbor, File image March 11, 2011. By Wendy Osher.

Tsunami effects at Kahului Harbor, File image March 11, 2011. By Wendy Osher.

By Maui Now Staff

US Senator Brian Schatz today announced that the State of Hawaiʻi will receive $495,943 in grant funding to support the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency in its mission to inform and prepare residents for tsunamis.

Senator Schatz, who is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee worked to restore funding for the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, saying it faced repeated attempts at defunding in Congress.

The program, administered by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, provides funding to coastal states for preparedness activities such as inundation mapping, disaster planning, and tsunami education. Because of these funds, Hawaiʻi became one of the first states in the nation to be declared Tsunami Ready, according to Senator Schatz.

“In Hawaiʻi, being well-prepared for natural disasters like tsunamis can mean the difference between life and death,” Schatz said in a statement.  “This critical funding will help improve our tsunami disaster planning so we can better protect Hawaiʻi’s coastal communities and save lives,” he said.

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The item is included in this year’s Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill.

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