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Annual Tsunami Playbook Communications Exercise (Statewide)

March 29, 2023, 1 - 3 pm (online)

Event Location:
All Along California's Coast

Contact Person:
Yvette LaDuke, Cal OES,

Annual exercise organized and run by Cal OES, CA Geol. Survey, and NWS-Weather Forecast Offices; participants will be emergency response officials from counties, cities, harbors, ports, and other governmental agencies who are on the TEDL.

Full Description:
On March 29, 2023 at 1300 hours, the California Tsunami Program will conduct the annual Tsunami Response Playbook Communications Exercise.

Exercise Scenario: Northern Chile Convergent Plate Margin M9.0 Earthquake  

The Playbook Communications Exercise simulates the online tsunami meeting held between the State and the officials on the TEDL within hours of a tsunami Advisory- or Warning-level alert from the National Tsunami Warning Center for a tsunami from a distant source (+3-4 hours travel time to California). The purpose of the exercise is to practice real-time event communications and information exchange regarding the tsunami Playbook recommendations provided by the State to local officials during a tsunami event.

The following is a brief summary of the activities and expectations of participants:

  1. The State will provide an overview of tsunami scenario and alert level, potential tsunami impacts, expected tidal conditions, and time of tsunami arrival in California
  2. NWS-WFO representatives will provide a brief overview of the weather conditions for their respective sections of coastline.
  3. The State will discuss the validity of the FASTER/Playbook recommendations being provided to the officials on the TEDL.
  4. The State will ask officials from each county:
    • If and how the Playbook recommendations from the State were received.
    • To “communicate” or provide the tsunami evacuation Playbook Phase numbers (1-2-3-Max) and the maritime response Playbook Plan letters (A-B-C-D-E) which was recommended for their jurisdiction(s).
    • If the jurisdiction(s) knows what evacuation or response actions, they plan to take.
    • If they have any questions about the scenario or Playbook recommendations.

Tsunami staff will be available to answer questions before and during the exercise to which playbook phase we would recommend to each county.

The Playbook Communications Exercise will be followed by a “hotwash” which is optional for participants. Please contact, or Rick Wilson at if you have any questions.