Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What to do during a tsunami?

The current Tsunami advisory is for a very minor tsunami of 1 to 2 feet possible in a few hours on the Oregon Coast. This is a good time for us to discuss Tsunamis and what to do.

The tsunami warning for Oregon today has prompted questions about "what do I do?" or "what should I not do?" Since earthquakes in the Pacific Ocean can cause tsunamis that can reach our coast, these questions are important to have answered ahead of an event.

FEMA's What to do before and during a tsunami page tells us exactly what we should do during a possible tsunami event:

1. Turn your radio on to listen for tsunami warnings and cancellations.

2. Move inland and to higher ground and stay there. The only way to avoid a tsunami is to be on ground higher then the wave.

3. Stay away from the beach! Never go to the beach to watch the wave. If you are close enough to see the tsunami then you will be unable to escape from the wave.

4. Know the signs of a tsunami - if you can see the ocean and you can visibly watch the ocean recede (go away from the shore) then a large tsunami is coming and you need to get inland and to higher ground immediately.

One possibility for preparedness is to know where you can go in the event of a tsunami. Knowing the closest high ground can help you know exactly where to go. With your emergency kit you can wait on high ground until the event has passed.

Most tsunamis are small and we usually do not notice them. But large tsunamis can damage property and kill. If you are prepared and know what to do then you can ensure you and your family's safety.

NOAA also has a Tsunami Preparedness Page with links to more information.

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