These seismic waves sometimes called “Tidal Waves” or Tsunamis can move hundreds of miles per hour in the open ocean and are typically caused by underwater disturbances such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and less frequently meteorite impacts. Tsunamis travel out in all directions from the point where they originate and as they approach land build in height as the floor of the ocean meets the shoreline. These waves can be as high as 100ft or more with the right conditions and can destroy all in its path. What can be a small Tsunami in one place can cause massive destruction in another depending on the topography of the ocean floor and coastline.
All Tsunamis are potentially dangerous and warnings should always be taken very seriously. When earthquakes or landslides occur close to the coastline the first waves can reach the shoreline within a few minutes, even before warnings can be issued and communicated to the general public. The greatest risk zone would be that of areas less than 25ft above sea level and within 1 mile of the shoreline.
Here is a list of things you can do to protect yourself and family from a Tsunami;
- Build an Emergency Kit or Bug-Out-Bag that’s ready to go if you need to evacuate in a hurry.
- Make a Family Evacuation Plan and practice it with all members of your family so they all know what to do and where to go if a tsunami occurs. You should be able to follow your escape route night or day and be able to reach your safe location within 10-15 minutes by foot. Evacuating by car may not be an option due to roads being clogged or blocked by other people fleeing.
- Know your town, city or communities warning system, disaster plans and evacuation routes. In other words know where you need to go to be safe and how to get there in a hurry.
- If you are on vacation familiarize yourself with local evacuation plans and locations.
- Know the height of your home or location above sea level and the distance you are from the coast, evacuation orders may be based on these factors.
- Follow any and all evacuation orders given by local authorities and evacuate immediately. Save yourself, family and pets but leave your possessions behind, they can be replaced.
- Under no circumstances go down to the beach to watch the tsunami come in, this may be the last stupid decision of your life.
- If you see a noticeable recession in water away from the shoreline this is nature’s tsunami warning and you need to move away immediately.
- Move inland to higher ground away from the coastline immediately. Try to get 100 feet above sea level or go as far inland as you can. Get as high and as far as you can, every foot inland or upward may make the difference between life and death.
- If you can see the wave and it is too close to escape get as high in a multi-level reinforced concrete building as you can, this is a last resort and may not save your life but it’s better than being at ground level when the wave hits. Try to be at least 3-4 floors up inside the building.
- Remember to help those who may require special assistance such as the elderly, infants and the disabled.
Remember that when you have to evacuate you’ll need supplies, so be sure to have your emergency kit or bug-out-bag stocked and ready to go. Remember to include things like extra clothing, important documents, prescription medications, first-aid supplies, food, water, portable radio and other personal and hygiene items. There are lots of pre-made kits on the market which makes this is a great option to get you a base kit and then you can add your own personal touches to create something that fits your personal needs.
After a tsunami return home only after local officials tell you it is safe. If you feel it is unsafe to remain in your home go to a designated public shelter for further assistance. Avoid disaster areas and stay away from debris in the water, it may pose a safety hazard to people or pets due to contamination or unseen hazards. Always use caution when re-entering your home or other buildings due to possible structural damage that can cause floors to crack or walls to collapse. To avoid any injuries, wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up.
Hopefully by following these tips and suggestions you and your family will feel safe and secure to make it through a tsunami if you ever find yourself in this situation. The best thing to do is to be prepared and have a plan so you will have the confidence and ability to survive.
Author: The Survival Guy
- Major earthquake strikes off the Philippines, tsunami warnings issued (thaindian.com)
- One dead in 7.6 quake off Philippines (content.usatoday.com)
- Earthquake Strikes Philippines, California Pays Attention (calemanews.wordpress.com)