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American Samoa receives NOAA grant for tsunami preparations

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Source: Office of the Congresswoman

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Aumua Amata welcomed a grant of $661,550 in federal funds for the American Samoa Department of Homeland Security designated to tsunami preparations.

These federal funds through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agency within the U.S. Commerce Department, are for the purpose of reducing the impact of tsunamis through hazard assessment, warning guidance, education and preparedness.

“It’s so important to be ready for the possibility of another powerful tsunami, and September is National Preparedness Month for disasters of all kinds,” said Aumua Amata. “I appreciate this federal support from NOAA for the work of education, planning and readiness. While we can be very thankful that the major tsunamis, such as our tragic 2009 tsunami, do not happen every year, we also know the possibility always exists and we have to be ready to take action.”

“Congratulations to director Samana Semo Ve’ave’a and the entire department for their work on these projects,” concluded Congresswoman Amata.

The grant provides tsunami exercises and training, including travel to meetings, classes and outreach, including inter-island. It also provides for maritime hazard maps, tsunami evacuation maps and outreach, siren maintenance, GIS map production, outreach for public entities in the tsunami zone, along with any necessary workshops, kiosks, billboards, posters, advertising, or brochures.

The Commerce Department is led by Secretary Wilbur Ross, and NOAA is directed by Dr. Neil Jacobs, assistant secretary of Commerce for environmental observation and prediction.