Tsunamis, earthquakes… preparation is key factor to improve survival

A typical tsunami evacuation sign.

Be prepared! We’ve heard a lot about earthquakes and tsunamis across the Pacific in the past few years. Eventually, there will be one capable of producing a tsunami that reaches our shores. It might be a regional earthquake that causes one of these damaging big waves. If so, we won’t have much warning.

The Washington Emergency Management Division says the best way to survive any type of disaster is to have a plan, keep informed, and have a mobile survival kit. Find out if you are in a tsunami inundation zone. If you are, locate your best evacuation routes to higher ground. Be sure to have a second route in mind in case the first one is blocked by a landslide, debris, traffic, etc. 

Download a tsunami evacuation brochure for your community. DNR worked with local government to produce these brochures.

All along the Washington coast you’ll see these routes marked with the distinctive tsunami evacuation signs. DNR helped in mapping these routes.

If you live in an inundation zone (which DNR also helped map), it’s a good idea to have a battery operated radio — good for power outages and other emergencies, too. Safety planners also recommend getting a radio capable of receiving NOAA weather alerts so you can get a tsunami warning as soon as it is issued.

Finally, put together a three-day survival kit that you can carry if needed. That’s another handy resource to have even if you don’t live in a tsunami area.  Find out more about being prepared.

Here’s a link that describes how the NOAA tsunami warning system works.

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