Tsunami Awareness Month Hawai'i

A tsunami can happen at any time and with limited warning. It may put you in immediate danger and cut you off from family and friends. It can happen so fast that you won’t have the time to seek out information. Understanding tsunamis and your role in case of emergency is critical to your safety.

During the month of April, take the time each week to focus on key aspects of tsunami preparedness:

Week 1:  KNOW the Tsunami Alert and Warning terminology

Week 2: FIND your home, school or business on the NOAA’s Tsunami Zone Evacuation Map:   https://tsunami.coast.noaa.gov/#/

When there is a Tsunami Warning, the public will be advised which evacuation zone to leave. Don’t wait to evacuate. It can take time to clear an evacuation zone, so leave as quickly and safely as possible. 

Know if you are in a Tsunami Evacuation Zone (TEZ) or an Extreme Tsunami Evacuation Zone (XTEZ) by clicking the link: https://tsunami.coast.noaa.gov/#/

The Tsunami Evacuation Map illustrates two Tsunami Evacuation Zones:

Tsunami Evacuation Zone (TEZ): TEZ is used for most tsunami warnings. These areas are shown in RED on the map. For this evacuation you are considered safe when you have reached the YELLOW or GREEN Zones. This zone is based on the historical tsunami impacts on the State of Hawai'i and Island of Oʻahu over the past 100 years. 

Extreme Tsunami Evacuation Zone (XTEZ): If an earthquake happens in the Eastern Aleutian Islands with a magnitude 9.0 or greater, it would cause a rare, more extreme tsunami event that would result in much more extensive flooding throughout Oʻahu. In this rare case, officials may advise evacuating further inland beyond XTEZ. These areas are shown in YELLOW on the map. For this evacuation you are considered safe when you have reached

Week 3:  PLAN to safely evacuate when a Tsunami Warning is issued

The most important thing during a Tsunami Warning is to get out of the evacuation zone as soon as possible. Anywhere outside the evacuation zone is a safe place. If possible, make plans to evacuate to a family member or friend’s home who lives outside the evacuation zone. During a Tsunami Warning, car traffic may be heavy and can cause delays, so plan to walk to a safe location if possible.

Week 4:  WORK with family and friends to plan and prepare for a tsunami event 

Now is the time to plan and prepare with your loved ones in the event of a tsunami.

If you are not located in a tsunami evacuation zone and a Tsunami Warning is issued, stay home and stay off the road. We want to keep roads and highways open for evacuees leaving the coastline and provide emergency access to first responders who will be assisting with the evacuation.  Designate a person who is not in an evacuation zone to be the contact person to reach out to following an event.

It’s important to remember that tsunami events have no season like hurricanes. A tsunami can occur at any time of the day or night, at any time of the year.  It’s best to always be prepared for any natural hazard that may impact our islands.

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