Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The National Weather Service was pleased with how systems worked to alert Alaskans to the threat of the Tsunami Tuesday morning.
Tsunami warning meteorologist Joel Curtis says the systems worked well but its also important to rely on the CBJ Emergency Management Department to get information on how to respond. "The (public) should follow instructions by local emergency management. We give recommended actions on our Tsunami warning statements. That is really for people in the unincorporated areas. We promote the fact that emergency managers put out the orders and organizes whatever actions need to be taken in local jurisdictions."
He recommended residents purchase a NOAA weather radio. He noted the weather service can help you to get the radio working.
Curtis said he doubts Juneau would receive major property damage from a Tsunami that comes from the Gulf of Alaska or further out in the Pacific Ocean. "What we have to worry about is when we have such a very large Tsunami on the outer coast that does make it into the inside waters. The other thing we worry about in the inside waters are local Tsunamis. That is where some kind of land form moves water on the inside channels and we really don't have time to warn for those."
Curtis said the NWS conducts a warning drill each March that mimics a Tsunami warning but are sure to make sure it is clearly marked a test.
On the flip side, many GCI wireless customers did not receive alerts. The company as a small area provider. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gave the company to May, 2019 to have a system in place. Spokesperson Heather Handyside said they should have a system in place well in advance of that deadline, "GCI is working on the wireless emergency alert system to get that program implemented so wireless customers can automatically receive wireless emergency alerts."
In the interim GCI customers can download a free app by going to the app store and downloading the app known as GCI alert of GCI warning.