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HomeNewsArchivesVITEMA Installs First Tsunami Hazard Zone and Evacuation Signs on St. Thomas

VITEMA Installs First Tsunami Hazard Zone and Evacuation Signs on St. Thomas

Taking a significant step forward in tsunami readiness, on Tuesday, the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) will set the territory’s first set of tsunami hazard zone and evacuation routes signs into the ground at Lindbergh Bay at the west end of St. Thomas.
Bronx Communications, the contractor hired for the project, will also install tsunami hazard zone and tsunami evacuation route signs at Brewer’s Beach, Nisky and at Ulla Muller Elementary School throughout the day. During the days that follow, the project will continue at various coastlines areas on St. Thomas, including Charlotte Amalie town, and then move to the island of St. John, according to a press release issued Monday by VITEMA.
VITEMA is currently securing the contractor to complete the sign installation on St. Croix.
“Implementing this project is a milestone not only for VITEMA but for the Virgin Islands,” said VITEMA Director Elton Lewis. “For the past few years, the agency has been working diligently through outreach and training to raise awareness about tsunamis and about how to be ready. We know it’s not a matter of if it will happen, but when.
“One of our biggest concerns has been the ability to alert residents and visitors in coastline areas and to guide them away from danger. The All Hazards Siren Warning System and the VI Alert mass notification system combined with the tsunami sign installation gives us a level of comfort that we can save lives.”
The project places TsunamiReady status within reach for the Virgin Islands. TsunamiReady is a designation granted by NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS). VITEMA has been working closely with NWS’s Caribbean Tsunami Warning Program to ensure the territory meets the requirements for the program.
“Tsunami warning signs are a critical component of the USVI Tsunami Warning System,” said Christa von Hillebrandt-Andrade, manager of NOAA’s NWS Caribbean Tsunami Warning Program at Mayaguez, P.R. “By placing these signs, the USVI joins coastal communities around the world helping to save the local residents and visitors by providing vital awareness information. With this step the USVI is a step closer to being TsunamiReady.”
VITEMA has already met several requirements for TsunamiReady status, including establishing an Emergency Operations Center, as well as the ability to receive a NWS tsunami warning multiple ways and to disseminate a Tsunami Warning, and to develop a tsunami hazard plan.

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Taking a significant step forward in tsunami readiness, on Tuesday, the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) will set the territory’s first set of tsunami hazard zone and evacuation routes signs into the ground at Lindbergh Bay at the west end of St. Thomas.
Bronx Communications, the contractor hired for the project, will also install tsunami hazard zone and tsunami evacuation route signs at Brewer’s Beach, Nisky and at Ulla Muller Elementary School throughout the day. During the days that follow, the project will continue at various coastlines areas on St. Thomas, including Charlotte Amalie town, and then move to the island of St. John, according to a press release issued Monday by VITEMA.
VITEMA is currently securing the contractor to complete the sign installation on St. Croix.
“Implementing this project is a milestone not only for VITEMA but for the Virgin Islands,” said VITEMA Director Elton Lewis. “For the past few years, the agency has been working diligently through outreach and training to raise awareness about tsunamis and about how to be ready. We know it’s not a matter of if it will happen, but when.
“One of our biggest concerns has been the ability to alert residents and visitors in coastline areas and to guide them away from danger. The All Hazards Siren Warning System and the VI Alert mass notification system combined with the tsunami sign installation gives us a level of comfort that we can save lives.”
The project places TsunamiReady status within reach for the Virgin Islands. TsunamiReady is a designation granted by NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS). VITEMA has been working closely with NWS’s Caribbean Tsunami Warning Program to ensure the territory meets the requirements for the program.
“Tsunami warning signs are a critical component of the USVI Tsunami Warning System,” said Christa von Hillebrandt-Andrade, manager of NOAA’s NWS Caribbean Tsunami Warning Program at Mayaguez, P.R. “By placing these signs, the USVI joins coastal communities around the world helping to save the local residents and visitors by providing vital awareness information. With this step the USVI is a step closer to being TsunamiReady.”
VITEMA has already met several requirements for TsunamiReady status, including establishing an Emergency Operations Center, as well as the ability to receive a NWS tsunami warning multiple ways and to disseminate a Tsunami Warning, and to develop a tsunami hazard plan.