12.3 FASTER: A Scientific Approach to Coastal California Evacuations during Tsunamis

Thursday, 11 January 2018: 4:15 PM
Ballroom E (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Brian Garcia, NWS, Monterey, CA; and R. Wilson, K. Miller, L. L. Smith Jr., A. Peterson, and A. Cross

FASTER (Forecast amplitude – Anomaly – Storm surge – Tidal level – Error – Run up potential) is a tsunami inundation forecast tool proposed by the State of California and developed by NOAA/NWS and California Geological Survey (CGS), with assistance from California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and coastal California counties. The FASTER system is broken into two parts, the program itself and the Playbooks, which are evacuation recommendations for coastal areas. The Playbooks are predefined for each counties coastline based on inundation modeling by CGS. When a distant source tsunami generating earthquake occurs, the NWS’ National Tsunami Warning Center (NTWC) generates forecast amplitudes for a given time at locations along coastal California. These forecast numbers are used at NWS Monterey to initialize the FASTER program which then produces a suggested Playbook approach. The Playbook suggestions are sent from the NWS to Cal OES, then from Cal OES to the coastal counties. Each county then works with their local jurisdictions to invoke the Playbook recommended evacuation level, based on the Playbook inundation maps. This is a multi-agency effort to save time, cost, and lives, while having the most effective and timely tsunami evacuation possible.
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