NOAA raises tsunami awareness

Tsunami Awareness Week: March 25-31, 2012

Cottages on the shore.

Mediterranean style beach cottages at Capitola-by-the-Sea in Calif.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

From sea to shining sea, we love our beaches. In fact, 53 percent of the nation’s population lives in a coastal county. But along with the enjoyment offered by coastal living and vacationing comes personal responsibility to prepare for unique hazards that exist in coastal areas, such as tsunamis.

Because catastrophic tsunamis are rare, we may have a tendency to get complacent and think that one will never happen while we’re at the beach. However, every coastline in the world is vulnerable to a tsunami.

If you live near or visit the coast, NOAA encourages you to take this opportunity to develop and discuss tsunami safety plans with your family and friends so everyone will be prepared when a big tsunami strikes the United States.

NOAA tsunami buoy.

NOAA tsunami buoy.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA’s tsunami warning efforts

In the past seven years, the United States has made a significant investment in tsunami detection and warning systems. Today, NOAA manages an expanded network of tide gauges and tsunami buoys and monitors seismic stations throughout the world’s oceans to detect tsunamis. If staff members at NOAA’s Tsunami Warning Centers detect a tsunami threat, they broadcast alerts over an advanced telecommunications infrastructure.

Other components of the nation’s upgraded tsunami warning system include NOAA’s two 24/7 Tsunami Warning Centers in Alaska and Hawaii, a network of advanced forecast models for at-risk communities, and TsunamiReady™ — a public preparedness and education program.

Education video for children

New Tsunami video for children.

Image from Tsunami video for children.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Parents and educators may visit NOAA’s Web site with their children and students to watch a short animated video about tsunamis. This new video titled Tsunamis: Know What to Do, produced by the San Diego Office of Emergency Management with support from NOAA and the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, may be viewed online. 

Everyone – from coastal residents to beach vacationers – will benefit from spending a few minutes learning about the warning signs of a tsunami and what to do if one occurs.

Warning signs of a tsunami

What you should do if you see these signs

So arm yourselves with tsunami awareness and a preparedness plan, along with sun block and a good book, and you’ll have all the ingredients for a fun and safe beach holiday. To learn more about tsunamis, visit NOAA’s Tsunami Web site.

Posted March 26, 2012 NOAA logo.