A tsunami is a series of
waves that may be dangerous and destructive. When you hear a tsunami warning,
move at once to higher ground and stay there until local authorities say it is
safe to return home.
Find out if your home is
in a danger area.
Know the height of your street above sea level and the distance of your street
from the coast. Evacuation orders may be based on these numbers.
Be familiar with the
tsunami warning signs.
Because tsunamis can be
caused by an underwater disturbance or an earthquake, people living along the
coast should consider an earthquake or a sizable ground rumbling as a warning
signal. A noticeable rapid rise or fall in coastal waters is also a sign that a
tsunami is approaching.
Make sure all family
members know how to respond to a tsunami.
Make evacuation plans.
Pick an inland location that is elevated. After an earthquake or other natural
disaster, roads in and out of the vicinity may be blocked, so pick more than one
Teach family members how
and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water.
Teach children how and
when to call 9-1-1, police or fire department, and which radio station to listen
for official information.
Have disaster supplies on
- Flashlight and extra
battery-operated radio and extra batteries
- First aid kit and
- Emergency food and
- Non-electric can opener
- Essential medicines
- Cash and credit cards
- Sturdy shoes
Develop an emergency
In case family members are separated from one another during a tsunami (a real
possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school),
have a plan for getting back together.
Ask an out-of-state
relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster,
often it's easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone knows the name,
address, and phone number of the contact person.
Contact your local
emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter for more information
Listen to a radio or
television to get the latest emergency information, and be ready to evacuate if
asked to do so.
If you hear an official
tsunami warning or detect signs of a tsunami, evacuate at once. Climb to higher
ground. A tsunami warning is issued when authorities are certain that a tsunami
Stay away from the beach.
Never go down to the beach to watch a tsunami come in. If you can see the wave
you are too close to escape it.
Return home only after
authorities advise it is safe to do so.
A tsunami is a series of waves. Do not assume that one wave means that the
danger over. The next wave may be larger than the first one. Stay out of the
Stay tuned to a
battery-operated radio for the latest emergency information.
Help injured or trapped
Give first aid where appropriate. Do not move seriously injured persons unless
they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help.
Remember to help your
neighbors who may require special assistance--infants, elderly people, and
people with disabilities.
Stay out of damaged
buildings. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
Enter your home with
Use a flashlight when entering damaged buildings. Check for electrical shorts
and live wires. Do not use appliances or lights until an electrician has checked
the electrical system.
Open windows and doors to
help dry the building.
Shovel mud while it is
still moist to give walls and floors an opportunity to dry.
Check food supplies and
test drinking water.
Fresh food that has come
in contact with flood waters may be contaminated and should be thrown out. Have
tap water tested by the local health department.
INSPECTING UTILITIES IN
A DAMAGED HOME
Check for gas leaks--If
you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly
leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and
call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn off the gas for any
reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
Look for electrical system
damage--If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot
insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If
you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an
electrician first for advice.
Check for sewage and water
lines damage--If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using toilets and
call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid
the water from the tap. You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes.