New manual will help local communities with tsunami vertical evacuation proposals

Ocean Shores, like most of Washington state’s coast, will be prone to a tsunami when an earthquake strikes off the Strait of Juan de Fuca – or even a distant tsunami like Japan or Alaska. But getting to high ground is going to take a hefty walk for many residents. And, for a city that boasts a lot of retired residents, the concern is real.

Earthquake Program Manager Maximilian Dixon with the Washington Emergency Management Division has been working with city officials for months now to help cultivate the support needed to move forward with plans to design and ultimately construct a vertical evacuation structure designed to withstand earthquakes, aftershocks, liquefaction and multiple tsunami waves.

Now, Dixon, working with researchers at the University of Washington, has developed a manual that will help any coastal city, county or tribal entity figure out what it would take to design and then build a similar project.

“Our state has the second highest earthquake risk in the nation and we do a great job talking about our tsunami threat, but we really need community support, local champions and we hope this manual will help us generate that interest,” Dixon said.

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