USGS Tsunami Preparedness along the West Coast, USA
Before a tsunami
- Check to see if you live or work in a tsunami inundation zone. Click here for interactive inundation maps.
- Plan an evacuation route from your home, school, workplace, or any other place you frequently visit that is in the inundation zone.
- Learn the natural warning signs of a tsunami:
- FEEL the ground shaking severely, or for a long time.
- SEE an unusual disappearance of water, or oncoming wall of water.
- HEAR a loud roaring sound coming from the ocean.
- Prepare emergency kits for your home, automobile, and workplace.
- Make a family communication plan.
- Be aware and informed.
- Purchase a hand crank (or battery operated) flashlight and radio, or purchase a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio receiver with an alert feature and Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) to keep you informed of Tsunami Watches and Warnings.
- Sign up to receive tsunami alerts at http://ptwc.weather.gov/subscribe.php
During a tsunami
- If you are at the beach or near the ocean, and you feel the earth shake:
- Evacuate immediately inland to higher ground, and take shelter. If you are unable to quickly move inland then a high, multi-story, reinforced concrete building may provide a safe refuge on the third floor and above.
- DO NOT wait for official evacuation orders.
- RUN if you see a tsunami coming!
- Stay away from rivers and streams that lead to the ocean due to strong tsunami wave action and currents.
After a tsunami
- Follow the advice of local emergency and law enforcement authorities. DO NOT return until local authorities say it is safe.
- If the tsunami was generated by a local earthquake, be alert for aftershocks and stay tuned to local radio and television broadcasts for emergency information and recovery assistance.