Tsunamis (pronounced soo-ná-mees), are a series of enormous waves created by an underwater disturbance such as an earthquake, landslide,volcanic eruption, or meteorite. The closer this event happens to shore, the sooner the first wave can reach the coastline, sometimes before a warning is issued.


  • Create and practice an evacuation plan for your family.
  • Know the height of your street above sea level and the distance of your street from the coast or other high-risk waters. Evacuation orders may be based on these numbers.
  • If an earthquake occurs and you are in a coastal area, turn on your radio to learn if there is a tsunami warning.


  • Move inland to higher ground immediately.
  • Stay away from the beach. Never go down to the beach to watch a tsunami come in.


  • Return home only after local officials tell you it is safe. A tsunami is a series of waves that may continue for hours. Do not assume that after one wave the danger is over.
  • Avoid disaster areas.
  • Stay away from debris in the water; it may pose a safety hazard to people or pets.
  • If someone needs to be rescued, call professionals with the right equipment to help.
  • Use caution when re-entering buildings or homes. Tsunami-driven floodwater may have damaged buildings where you least expect it. Carefully watch every step you take.

Source: U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency