NOAA to Test Tsunami Warning Communications in Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino Counties

March 24, 2009

Federal and state officials in the coastal areas of northern California will conduct a test of the tsunami warning communications system between 10:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25. 

During the test, the emergency alert system will be activated and messages will be broadcast on radio and television stations in Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino counties. NOAA’s National Weather Service, in collaboration with the California Emergency Management Agency and the Emergency Services Offices of Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino counties, is sponsoring the test. If there is significant seismic activity, the test will be canceled.

Citizens may receive a test message in one or more ways:

The National Weather Service asks coastal residents who do not receive the alert via broadcast radio or weather radio to inform the Eureka weather forecast office. The public can provide feedback online at or by calling 707-443-6484.

This test will ensure that the emergency alert system will function properly if activated for a real tsunami. This is the second such test in California and the first to take place in multiple counties. Officials will evaluate the success of the test and correct any problems in the tsunami warning communications system.

In the event of a real tsunami, NOAA’s West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center will post watches, warnings and advisories online, and issue public alerts through the emergency alert system.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.