Tsunami Safe Quck-Step Guide
Fact: Both distant and locally generated tsunamis impact the Hawaiian Islands. Distant tsunamis can arrive in hours, and local tsunamis can hit a shoreline seconds after an earthquake or large underwater landslide. You should plan for both scenarios individually, be familiar with Civil Defense warnings, and also be aware of the natural warning signs of a tsunami.
LOCALLY GENERATED TSUNAMI:
- If you feel an earthquake, a local tsunami may follow immediately.
- During the earthquake beware of falling debris.
- Move uphill and away from shorelines and river estuaries, do not wait for sirens, and do not waste time gathering belongings and disaster kits.
- Tsunamis are a series of waves, so do not return to the shoreline until the official “all clear” has been given.
PACIFIC WIDE TSUNAMI:
- If you hear sirens then a distant tsunami may be approaching the Hawaiian Islands.
- Immediately turn on local radio stations or local television channels for a Civil Defense message.
- Follow all instructions given by Civil Defense.
- Try not to use phone lines for anything other than emergency calls.
KNOW NATURE’S WARNING SIGNS:
- An earthquake.
- Water receding or surging inland.
- A strange sound coming from the sea.
PREPARE AHEAD OF TIME:
- Set a meeting place with your family/friends/staff.
- Have a disaster kit ready for use in a distant tsunami evacuation.
- Back up/copy important data and documents.
- Have an evacuation route and practice it.
- Know your child’s school evacuation plan.
- Know where the evacuation zone is: it can be found at the front of the phone book, and you can also look at our online tsunami map viewer.
EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBERS:
- Emergency 911
- Hilo Medical Center (808) 932-3000
- Hawaii County Civil Defense (808) 935-0031 / (808) 935-3311
- American Red Cross (808) 935-8305
- HELCO (808) 969-6666