Tsunami Preparedness Week

Courtesy of Newport Beach Police Department

California has designated March 23-31 as the state’s Tsunami Preparedness Week. During this week, the City of Newport Beach’s Emergency Management Division has been engaging in many activities such as: reviewing its tsunami response procedures, meeting with vulnerable communities and businesses and conducting public education to ensure the city is prepared to respond to a tsunami type of emergency.

Tsunamis (pronounced soo-ná-mees), also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called “tidal waves”), are a series of enormous waves created by an underwater disturbance such as an earthquake. When the waves enter shallow depths near a coastline, they may rise to several feet or, in rare cases, 10s of feet. All tsunamis are potentially dangerous, even though they may not damage every coastline they strike, and can strike anywhere along most of the U.S. coastline. The most destructive tsunamis have occurred along the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. Tsunamis can occur during any season of the year and at any time, day or night and the danger period can continue for many hours after a major earthquake.

Click on photo for a larger image

Graphic courtesy of NBPD

Natural tsunami warning signs

What to do before a tsunami

–Identify if you live in a tsunami inundation area (see map below). If you do, pre-plan evacuation routes.

Purchase a weather radio to receive alerts.

Sign up for the city’s notification systems, AlertOC and Newport Notified.

What to do during a tsunami

–If you feel an earthquake in a coastal area, leave the beach in low-lying areas.

–If you are advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

–Follow instructions from the city’s Outdoor Warning Speaker System.

Listen to radio or television for more information and follow the instructions of your local authorities.

Do not go to the shoreline to watch for a tsunami. When you can see the wave, it is too late to escape.

What to do after a tsunami

–Stay away from flooded and damaged areas until officials say it is safe to return.

–Stay away from debris in the water, as it may pose a safety hazard to boats and people.

You can learn more about Tsunami Preparedness here.

Route Map courtesy of NBPD

This map indicates tsunami evacuation routes


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