Over the next few months, you will start seeing more "Tsunami Hazard Zone" signs near the beaches of incorporated areas in San Luis Obispo County.
Thursday afternoon, crews were out in Cayucos installing "Entering" and "Leaving" tsunami zone signs along Ocean Avenue, just steps away from the shoreline.
"It is both along the roadways and coastal access points," said Scott Milner, Emergency Services Coordinator for San Luis Obispo County. "It is both for residents and visitors to alert them that they are entering a Tsunami Hazard Zone."
Starting this month, a total of 276 new tsunami warning signs will be installed around San Luis Obispo County.
Cal Poly student Riley Lopez was walking on the Cayucos pier Thursday. While she says she is not fearful of a big tsunami hitting the Central Coast anytime soon, she thinks the signs will help prepare the public for that scenario.
"I don't think tsunamis are something people usually expect to be careful of, or think that could happen here," Lopez told KSBY. "I think it could help bring awareness to an issue people otherwise don't really think about."
Milner says the installation of the new signage will likely continue from now through this coming spring. He adds that this step is just one phase in the National Weather Service's process of certifying San Luis Obispo County as "Tsunami Ready."
"You have to demonstrate that all your emergency plans incorporate tsunamis as a natural hazard, and then we are going to increase through the last week of March, which is Tsunami Preparedness Week, so we are going to increase public outreach and education," Milner said.
He adds that the "Tsunami Ready" credential from the National Weather Service could also result in discounts on flood insurance. He says the County's Office of Emergency Services also has wireless emergency alert sirens in place from Cayucos down to Oceano, which will send a notification to your cell phone if a tsunami warning is activated.
You can find a map of all of San Luis Obispo County's "Tsunami Hazard Zones" and other emergency preparedness resources by clicking here: https://www.prepareslo.org/en/tsunami.aspx https://www.conservation.ca.gov/cgs/tsunami/maps/san-luis-obispo