Preparing for a Tsunami

Tsunami Facts and Information

What is a Tsunami?

A Tsunami is a whole series of waves in the ocean that are caused by a natural disaster. This disaster may be a sudden movement in the floor of the ocean. It could also be a landslide on the ocean floor. It might be an earthquake or a volcano. Deep below the ocean the wave forms. It can sometimes go ashore really gently. It might not come in so gently. It could very easily become higher and higher and higher. It may cause a wave that can be many stories high and become a wall of water that will sweep away everything in its path.

Tsunamis are not common in comparison to other things like earthquakes or other events like tornadoes. They can be just as destructive and just as deadly as those things however. In fact they can sweep away entire communities or cities in a very short time.

Where Do Tsunamis Happen?

There are millions of people around the world who are living in places that may be prone to or at risk of a tsunami. These places include water states such as Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. They also include the coast of Canda. In addition, areas like Sri Lanka, Thailand, India and other places can also be prone to tsunamis. Millions of people around the world also visit the areas which are prone to tsunamis.

This makes a tsunami doubly dangerous in that they happen in areas which are prone to a lot of vacation visitors. Areas such as Hawaii have a wide range of of different areas which offer a vast array of entertainment. Many of these areas are on the coast where a Tsunami might take place. This will show you how a tsunami might be extremely dangerous. Would you know what to do in the event of a tsunami? Do you have a plan for the event that a tsunami might take place?

Can We Prevent Tsunamis?

There is currently no way to prevent a tsunami from taking place. The effects of the tsunami can be prevented or reduced slightly. They can be very deadly and very destructive. The National Weather Service, NOAA,can offer warnings when a tsunami may actually appear. There are new programs that can help us to detect when an underwater earthquake or other things may take place. This helps us to know when a tsunami may actually take place.

Is There a Tsunami Warning System?

NOAA has developed a warning system. TWS monitors the Pacific Basin for any sign of problems.There are two warning systems that are in Alaska and in Hawaii. According to NOAA "The Alaska Tsunami Warning Center serves as the regional Tsunami Warning Center for Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center serves as the regional Tsunami Warning Center for Hawaii and as a national/international warning center for tsunamis that pose a Pacific-wide threat."

The warnings that are sent out will predict the arrival time of the tsunami and give people a chance to get away to higher ground if they can, as well as to ensure that there is time to do things like shut off the power and take care of other safety issues.

Tsunami Preparedness-How Can You Be Ready?

How Can You Prepare for a Tsunami?

Any time that there is the chance that a tsunami may take place the NOAA personnel will issue tsunami warnings. Prior to receiving these warnings there should be preparations in place that will allow you and your family to safely ride out the tsunami or to evacuate to higher ground to avoid the water that may take place.

The best way to avoid being injured or worse is to be sure that you have plans laid in well in advance.

Plan your evacuation route well in advance. Plan the route from home, from work or from any other place where you may be at the time.Where possible, ensure that you can find a place that is more than 100 feet above sea level. It should also be at least two miles inland from the coast. If that is not available to you, plan a route to an area that is as far inland and as high above sea level as possible.

Practice the evacuation several times a year.

Being familiar with this route is going to save your life.

Use a weather radio

While some tsunamis may not be predicatable for a long time span, weather radios which are able to gather information without interference by other radio broadcasts and which are typical solar and battery powered will give you the best chance of staying abreast of the information that you need to stay safe.

Have a bag packed and ready.

Inside the bag should be spare money, keys, personal information and papers, snacks and water and credit cards as well as cell phones and chargers. Making sure that this bag is prepared and ready to go out the door at a moments notice is important. In some cases you're not going to have a long time in order to get your bags packed and get away.

Always discuss the plans with your family and make sure that everyone is aware of what's going to happen and what is necessary in the event of a tsunami warning. Keeping everyone in the loop and making sure that you are all prepared ahead of time, know what the biggest dangers are and how to deal with them is the only way that you are all going to stay safe.

What to do in the Event of a Tsunami Warning

When the tsunami warning comes, listen for any information that you may need and then make the choice to evacuate and get to higher ground. In most cases, you will not be able to ride out the storm on a coastal area. If you have time do the following:

  • Unplug all applicances
  • Shut off gas, water and power to your home.
  • Take all important papers as well as pets with you when you evacuate.

What Should You Do After the Tsunami

  • When permitted, go back to your home and check the damage.
  • Check on neighbors and friends who may not have evacuated.
  • Be very careful of downed power lines and other electrical or problematic utilities.
  • Enter your home carefully after sounding the floor and making sure that the structure is sound
  • Do not drink the water until you are sure that it is safe. Contamination is going to be a frequent occurrence post a water event.
  • Be sure that all water is removed from your home and that your home is disinfected thoroughly. Mold and mildew can grow in a dampened home and in some cases sewage and other things may have backflowed. Don't spend a night in your home unless and until it is cleaned thoroughly.