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If you feel an earthquake that lasts 20 seconds or longer when you are in a coastal area, you should: Learn whether tsunamis have occurred in your area or could occur in your area by contacting your local emergency management office, state geological survey, National Weather Service (NWS) office, or American Red Cross chapter. An aerial view video of giant tsunami waves. What to Do When a Tsunami Watch Is Issued, What to Do When a Tsunami Warning Is Issued. Follow the locals. You should first protect yourself from the earthquake. To learn how to recognize the signs of an impending tsunami, keep reading! So round up the kids and the family dog and...GO. Tsunami waves may hit repeatedly, in some cases, reaching greater heights. Is there food you can spare for him in the kit if need be? Tourists are often the ones absent-mindedly looking to the sea and then not running till it's too late; you see the locals scatter way before the visitors. How are they acting? Never go to the shore to watch the tsunami. Take your Disaster Supplies Kit. to protect yourself from the earthquake first. This article has been viewed 223,726 times. Be ready to evacuate. It may take a tsunami hours or mere minutes to reach shore, so it is important to be well-prepared and know how to respond quickly and effectively. Additionally, keep a first aid kit in your emergency bundle, and stock it with items like bandages, pain reliever, and sanitary items like toilet paper. If you are a tourist, ask your hotel or various approachable locals about policy, if you're concerned. Place the items in an easy to carry container—a duffle bag, … Last Updated: January 31, 2020 Recommended evacuation routes may be different from the one you planned, or you may be advised to climb higher. What if I am on a boat out at sea, and there is a tsunami? If you fight it, you risk drowning or being sucked down by the surge of water. Know your community's evacuation routes. Instead, let the strong shaking be your warning, and, after protecting yourself from falling objects, quickly move away from the water and to higher ground. The NWS encourages people to buy a weather radio equipped with the Specific Area Message Encoder (SAME) feature. By using our site, you agree to our. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 223,726 times. Tsunamis are large ocean waves generated by major earthquakes beneath the ocean floor or major landslides into the ocean. If any members of your household have special evacuation needs (small children, elderly people, or people with disabilities) consider evacuating early. A tsunami is a series of waves that may continue for hours. Telephone lines during a tsunami watch or warning may be overloaded and routes to and from schools may be jammed. Waiting until the last minute could be fatal for them and dangerous for you. One of the signs of a potential tsunami is the occurrence of a very large earthquake that lasts for more than 20 seconds. If you don't want to jump to conclusions, look to the animals. Depending on the location of the earthquake, you may have a number of hours in which to take appropriate action. Don't fight the speed of the current. Before a tsunami How to prepare for a tsunami. Stay out of the water and away from beaches and waterways. Map out where you would go—on foot, because roads will be flooded. We may be technically smarter than them, but they know when nature has gone awry. Bring your companion animals indoors and maintain direct control of them. Homeowners' policies do not cover flooding from a tsunami. The current is much stronger than you. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. If you evacuate, take your animals with you. Be sure that your pet disaster kit is ready to go in case you need to evacuate. Occasionally, tsunamis can form walls of water, known as tsunami bores, when the waves are high enough and the shoreline configuration is appropriate. If time permits, secure unanchored objects around your home or business. Keep a look out for any tsunami warnings signs. Take shelter in your boat. Find out your areas flooding elevation. Tsunamis can travel upstream in coastal estuaries and rivers, with damaging waves extending farther inland than the immediate coast. Be prepared to evacuate by foot if necessary. To prepare for a tsunami, start by familiarizing yourself with the area and finding a route that will get you and your family to the highest ground in the least amount of time. Talk to everyone in your household about what to do if a tsunami occurs. In some cases, it is 20 minutes or less. Remembering the Boxing Day tsunami. If you think you won't be sure whether or not the tide has receded, think again. The local tsunamis began even as people were still experiencing the shaking. Use a NOAA Weather Radio or stay tuned to a local radio or television station to keep informed of local watches and warnings. You should have a small room on the top floor with no windows, which is stocked with water and food. Matt Rosenberg is an award-winning geographer and the author of "The Handy Geography Answer Book" and "The Geography Bee Complete Preparation Handbook. So much land that almost never breathes air will make its fateful appearance and it'll be impossible to ignore. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Talk to your family about creating an emergency kit, so if you are trapped during a tsunami, you have everything you need, such as food, water, and medical supplies, to survive for several days. All tsunamis are potentially, if rarely, dangerous. Before you travel, find out what you can about the tsunami risk in the area you are visiting. If your childrens school is in an identified inundation zone, find out what the school evacuation plan is. This feature automatically alerts you when important information is issued about tsunamis or weather-related hazards for your area. Also find out the height above sea level and the distance from the coast of outbuildings that house animals, as well as pastures or corrals. It is important to know designated escape routes before a warning is issued. In order to prepare for a tsunami, you should know your risk and have an evacuation plan with routes memorized. Footpaths normally lead uphill and inland, while many roads parallel coastlines. In some cases, the tsunami will develop into potentially destructive waves (such as it did after the Japan quake). In fact, you should get to the highest point nearby. Drop, Cover, and Hold On. Travels 20–30 miles per hour with waves 10–100 feet high Prudent, positive steps to prepare before a tsunami strikes include: Know the tsunami history and flooding elevation in your area. Do a quick YouTube search right now for videos—it's quite startling. Prepare your emergency kits long before there might be a tsunami to be sure you get everything you might possibly need. Being Prepared. Learn how to turn off the gas and electricity in your house. Your emergency route would lead you there and you could stash your emergency kits in it as well. Often the initial wave is not the largest. Don't make the little guy fend for himself! Tsunamis spread, so a small wave in one area could be a behemoth of a wave in another. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Get tips on what to do before a tsunami hits. Exists, and you could be a serious load off local officials tell it... 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