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Getting Ready for Tsunamis: Facts, Tips and Safety Precautions

Written by: on 28th February 2010 |
Getting Ready for Tsunamis: Facts, Tips and Safety Precautions  | read this item

People get freaky nowadays searching safety tips and what to do when a tsunami strikes. There has been earthquakes happening around the globe and everyone knows that right after it, a tsunami would most likely happen. Just recently an 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Chile and hours after that news are coming out that a Tsunami struck Hawaii and Japan and signals other Pacific countries to beware.

Tsunamis are basically a series of ocean waves that sends surges of water, sometimes reaching heights of over 100 feet (30.5 meters), onto land. These walls of water can cause widespread destruction when they crash ashore. They are generated by major earthquakes beneath the ocean floor or major landslides into the ocean. Tsunamis caused by nearby earthquakes may reach the coast within minutes.

Why there is a need to prepare?

All tsunamis are potentially, if rarely, dangerous.


What are the indications that it is coming?

  • With a technology that we have right now, accurate information regarding when will it strike is completely possible. If you’re just keeping yourself updated with what’s happening in the world, then you’re probably be the first one to be saved.
  • If you are in a coastal community and feel the shaking of a strong earthquake, you may have only minutes until a tsunami arrives. Do not wait for an official warning.


Where can we find the best information in a  Tsunami situation?

  • Tsunami warnings are broadcast on local radio and television stations.
  • The Pacific Tsunami Warning System, a coalition of 26 nations headquartered in Hawaii, maintains a web of seismic equipment and water level gauges to identify tsunamis at sea. Similar systems are proposed to protect coastal areas worldwide.


What’s the difference between a Tsunami Warning and a Tsunami Watch?

Tsunami Warning –  a dangerous tsunami may have been generated and could be close to your area. Warnings are issued when an earthquake is detected that meets the location and magnitude criteria for the generation of a tsunami. The warning includes predicted tsunami arrival times at selected coastal communities within the geographic area defined by the maximum distance the tsunami could travel in a few hours.

  • Stay tuned to a Coast Guard emergency frequency station, or a local radio or television station for updated emergency information.
  • Check your Disaster Supplies Kit. It pays to be always equipped.
  • Locate household members and review evacuation plans.
  • Consider early evacuation if you have household members who needs special attention (children, elderly, disabled).
  • Secure unanchored objects around your home or business (If time permits).
  • Be ready to evacuate.

Tsunami Watch – a dangerous tsunami has not yet been verified but could exist and may be as little as an hour away. It is issued along with a tsunami warning.

  • Stay tuned to a Coast Guard emergency frequency station, or a local radio or television station for updated emergency information.
  • Follow instructions issued by local authorities. The evacuation route  you are planning may be different from what’s recommended.
  • If you hear an official tsunami warning or detect signs of a tsunami, evacuate at once.
  • Take your Disaster Supplies Kit.
  • Get to higher ground as far inland as possible.
  • Don’t dare to see  how high the waves are, if you can see then you are too close to escape it.
  • Return home only after local officials tell you it is safe.
  • If you cannot escape a wave, climb onto a roof or up a tree, or grab a floating object and hang on until help arrives. Some people have survived tsunami waves by using these last-resort methods.

Always remember that in cases like this, it pays to be ready.


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