Tsunami Preparedness

Every season is tsunami season – they could happen at anytime.

Knowing what to expect and how to react will keep us prepared!

What is a tsunami?

Tsunamis are a series of large ocean waves generated by ocean earthquakes or underwater landslides. When the waves reach shallow water, they may rise several feet, or, in rare cases tens of feet.

How do I know if a tsunami is coming?

If you’re near the shoreline and feel tremors or an earthquake, evacuate the area immediately – move to higher ground! The Pacific Tsunami Warning System maintains a system of seismic equipment and water level gauges to identify tsunamis. In Hawaii, we have island wide evacuation sirens that sound before the wave arrival time. When you hear the sirens, evacuate low-lying areas immediately. Tune into local news for expected wave arrival times.

How do I know if I’m in an evacuation zone?

Check out tsunami.csc.noaa.gov to make sure you’re out of the island’s evacuation area. Evacuation maps can also be found in your phone book. Know if you’re in a tsunami evacuation area. Stay away from evacuation areas until emergency officials have announced the “all clear”.

What about shelters?

The Red Cross does not open their shelters until after tsunami waves have subsided. Head to a safe place away from shorelines that are far away from evacuation areas. Know the location of your local shelters.

What about my kids? They’re in school!

If you don’t already know, learn about the emergency plan for your child’s school or daycare.

It’s always a good idea to talk to your kids about the potential of emergency situations like tsunamis so you have a plan.

And, my pets, what about them?

Put a plan in place to evacuate your pets with you. Be sure to have their leashes and proper carrying cases along with some emergency food. Know whether the shelters in your area are pet-friendly. Shelters will require your pet to be in a carrier!

Do I need an Emergency Kit?

YES! No matter where you live, it’s important to have an emergency kit prepared with food, water and other supplies (like medications) to last seven days. If you are in a low-lying, coastal area, have an evacuation kit you can carry with you or put in your car, include clothing, non-perishable food items, water and your ID. Waikiki Health employees should check out “Disaster Preparedness at Home” in the 2015 Disaster Response Folder on Sharepoint for creating a good kit.

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