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Disaster Preparedness Checklist

What to Do When a Tsunami Occurs

  • Listen to the radio.

  • Immediately evacuate if you detect signs of a tsunami or have been told to do so by your evacuation officer/warden or local, regional, or national authorities.

  • Signs of a tsunami include:
    -earthquake, eruption, or explosion occurs
    -noticeable recession in water away from the shoreline
    -a load roar from the ocean
    -unusual ocean behavior
    -a sudden rise or wall of water

  • Bring your disaster preparedness kit with you as you evacuate.

  • Follow your evacuation officer/warden or go through the nearest designated evacuation route, if there are no evacuation officers/wardens available.

  • Run to higher ground and as far inland as possible.

  • Do not wait to see a tsunami wave and even if it seems peaceful or that the tsunami will not yet occur, it's generally recommended to evacuate as soon as possible.

  • Do not leave higher ground until local, regional, or national authorities verify that the tsunami is over.

How to Prepare for a Tsunami

  • Develop emergency evacuation plan. When choosing an evacuation area, ensure that it is 100 feet (30 meters) or more above sea level and at least 2 miles (3 kilometers) inland. You and the other people included in the emergency evacuation plan must be able to reach the evacuation area on foot in less than 15 minutes.

  • Know the height of your street above sea level and the distance of your street from the coast or other high-risk waters.

  • Be familiar with the alert levels in your area. For example, in the US, a tsunami WATCH means: -A tsunami is possible. -Regularly check for updates . -Be aware of your surroundings so that you will be able to detect signs of a tsunami such as earthquake, load roar from the ocean, etc. -If you are to view the beach or shoreline, regularly check if water is receding or suddenly rising. -Be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice. A tsunami ADVISORY means: -A minor tsunami is expected or already occurring. -Begin evacuation. A tsunami WARNING means: -A dangerous tsunami is expected or already occurring. -Immediately evacuate and/or move inland to higher ground.

  • If you are in a tsunami-prone area, consider tuning in to a tsunami watcher or assign someone to be on the lookout for a tsunami. Sometimes official warnings and alerts come too late.

  • Ensure that there is easy access to building exits and to vehicles which can aid in evacuating as quickly as possible.

Tsunami Preparedness Kit

  • 2 water bottles (at least 500ml each)

  • Non-perishable snacks (such as nuts, cereals, salted pretzels, jerky, dried fruit, applesauce, and crackers)

  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries

  • Flashlight/s with extra batteries

  • Whistle/s

  • First aid kit

  • Antibacterial wipes

  • Common and personal medications

  • Laminated and updated map of the area

  • Identification card/s (who to contact, blood type, etc.)

  • Valuable documents and possessions (In the event of a tsunami, fast evacuation is crucial. People should be able and/or trained to drop and leave everything except for their disaster preparedness kit.)

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