We cannot prevent a tsunami, but we can prepare for one.
Whether you live on or visit coastal areas of the northwest, you should be aware of the dangers of a tsunami. The earthquake in Japan and the resulting tsunami both in Japan and on the western coast of the United States is a reminder that even the smallest tsunami can do crippling damage.
Here are a few simple tips to remember.
If you live on the coast or you are visiting, make sure to have a go-kit ready for emergency evacuations. Know the evacuation routes and procedures of the area you are in. And make sure to have a list of emergency contacts as a part of your emergency plan and let friends and family know where you are staying if you are visiting.
Be Aware of Nature's Warnings
- If there is an earthquake, DROP, COVER and HOLD until the shaking stops.
- If you are on the coast and the earthquake shaking is hard or lasts over 20 seconds, the sea begins to recede, the water level rises rapidly or there is a loud roar from the sea, IMMEDIATELY move to higher ground or inland. Preferable, move to 100 feet in elevation, at least a mile inland from the coast, or to the highest floor of a sturdy building and STAY there.
What To Do During a Tsunami Warning for Your Area
- Keep calm.
- Immediately move to your local tsunami shelter area using defined tsunami evacuation routes. If there are no evacuation routes defined, move to higher ground a mile inland or to the highest floor of a sturdy building, and STAY there.
- If you are already in a safe area, STAY there.
- Move on foot when possible. Do not drive. Keep roads open and clear for emergency vehicles.
- Pay attention to NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio and/or local broadcasts for changes and/or updates in tsunami alerts.
- Stay away from the coast and low-lying areas until local officials say it's safe to return to the area.
- Oregon Tsunami Clearinghouse
- National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program
- Pacific Northwest Tsunami Evacuation Zones Interactive Map
- Evacuation Brochures for the Oregon Coast - these brochures provide tsunami zone and evacuation information tailored to specific communities and tsunami zones along the coast
- Waves of Destruction: Tsunamis - animated graphics explaining how tsunamis are generated (from the Savage Earth television series on PBS)