Oregon Office of Emergency Management kicks off Tsunami Blue Lin - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon Office of Emergency Management kicks off Tsunami Blue Line project

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The Oregon Office of Emergency Management is coordinating a pilot project that aims to make it easier for people get to safety in the event of a tsunami.

The Tsunami Blue Line project would buy materials so local communities can mark tsunami evacuation routes and install new tsunami evacuation signs. 

The OEM says the project is one of the first of its kind in the United States and was inspired by a recent program in New Zealand. Communities paint a blue line and add additional signs along a line leading to the evacuation zone. 

The Oregon project would work with the communities of Florence, Reedsport, Coos Bay and Gold Beach to install the blue line markers on selected routes. 

The signs are scheduled to be installed by March 11, which is the 5-year anniversary of earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011. 

"We want to help people get to high ground safely, and Oregon has been working for several years to develop how we mark and define tsunami evacuation routes," said OEM geologic hazards coordinator Althea Rizzo. "Now is a good time to practice using tsunami evacuation routes to learn how far uphill and inland you will have to go, and how long it will take."

The agency says depending where you are on the Oregon coast, it could take from five minutes to 30 minutes to get to high ground. 

There is also a Tsunami WalkOut event on March 11 to 12 to practice evacuation routes and promote awareness. You can find tsunami routes at oregontsunami.org

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