Tsunami Preparedness 101
Tsunamis are NOT like normal waves at the beach. When they approach land they are like a surge or fast flood. Earthquakes are nature’s warning for a possible tsunami, so if you are by the coast and the earth moves, first: Drop, cover, and hold on; second: When the shaking stops, get to high ground; and third: stay away from the coast.
Sometimes it takes many hours for the first waves of a tsunami to reach the shoreline, and often times the first waves (or surges) are not the highest or most powerful. Whether we are under a tsunami advisory, watch, or warning it is imperative that anyone in coastal areas listen to DEM’s instructions. Our primary methods of issuing the notification are AlertSF, the Outdoor Public Warning Sirens, Wireless Emergency Alerts, and @sf_emergency and @SF72org on Twitter. Tuning in to radio news (such as KCBS 740 AM or 106.9 FM) and TV also is a good way to get information about the tsunami.
The 101 on tsunamis:
Know the warning signs:
- A strong earthquake
- A sudden rise or fall of the ocean tide
- A loud, roaring sound (like an airplane or a train) coming from the ocean
- Move inland to higher ground
- Stay away from the beach until officials advise it is safe to return
- Follow instructions from local officials (AKA us!)
Spread the word:
- Once you have taken action tell family, friends, and co-workers to do the same (social media is a great way to spread the word)