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Friday, March 11, 2011

Tsunami Safety Tips

Tsunami Safety Tips
From Janet Liebsch
Website:  "It's a Disaster and What are You Gonna Do about it?"

A tsunami [soo-nah´-mee] is a series of huge, destructive waves caused by an undersea disturbance from an earthquake, volcano, landslide, or even a meteorite. As the waves approach the shallow coastal waters, they appear normal and the speed decreases. Then, as the tsunami nears the coastline, it turns into a gigantic, forceful wall of water that smashes into the shore with speeds exceeding 600 miles per hour (965 km/h)! Usually tsunamis are about 20 feet (6 m) high, but extreme ones can get as high as 100 feet (30 m) or more!

A tsunami is a series of waves and the first wave may not be the largest one, plus the danger can last for many hours after the first wave hits. During the past 100 years, more than 200 tsunamis have been recorded in the Pacific Ocean due to earthquakes and Japan has suffered a majority of them.

The Pacific Ocean tsunami warning system was put in place back in 1949. As of June 2006, the Indian Ocean has a tsunami warning system, and NOAA expanded the Pacific system to include the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and areas of the Atlantic around the U.S. coast as of mid-2007.

Did you know...

...a tsunami is not a tidal wave - it has nothing to do with the tide?!

...another name used to describe a tsunami is “harbor wave”

...“tsu” means harbor and “nami” means wave in Japanese?!

...sometimes the ocean floor is exposed near the shore since a tsunami can cause the water to recede or move back before slamming in to shore?!

...tsunamis can travel up streams and rivers that lead to the ocean?!


BEFORE A TSUNAMI:

Learn the buzzwords - Learn words used by both the West Coast / Alaska Tsunami Warning Center (WC/ATWC - for AK, BC, CA, OR, and WA) and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC - for international authorities, HI and all U.S. territories within Pacific basin) for tsunami threats...
Advisory - an earthquake has occurred in the Pacific basin which might generate a tsunami
Watch - a tsunami was or may have been generated, but is at least 2 hours travel time from Watch area
Warning - a tsunami was / may have been generated and could cause damage to Warning area - should evacuate

Learn risks - If new to area, call local emergency management office and ask what the warning signals are and what to do when you hear them. Coastal areas less than 25 feet above sea level and within a mile of shoreline along coasts are at greatest risk. Or visit http://www.tsunamiready.noaa.gov

Make a plan - Develop a Family Emergency Plan (e.g. establish meeting places, list of emergency contact #s, out of state contact person, etc) and Disaster Supplies Kits/BOBs.

Listen - Make sure you have a battery-operated radio (with spare batteries) for weather forecasts and updates. (Radios like Environment Canada’s Weatheradio and NOAA’s Weather Radio have a tone-alert feature that automatically alerts you when a Watch or Warning has been issued.)

Water signs - If near water or shore, watch for a noticeable rise or fall in the normal depth of coastal water - that’s advance warning of a tsunami so get to high ground. Also - if water pulls away from shoreline and exposes sea floor - run to higher ground ASAP!!

Feeling shaky...? - If you feel an earthquake in the Pacific Coast area (from Alaska down to Baja), listen to the radio for tsunami warnings.

Is that it...? - Don’t be fooled by the size of one wave - more will follow and they could get bigger … and a small tsunami at one beach can be a giant wave a few miles away!

Be ready to evacuate - Listen to local authorities and leave if you are told to evacuate.


DURING A TSUNAMI:

Leave - If you are told to evacuate, DO IT! Remember - a tsunami is a series of waves - the first one may be small but who knows what the rest will bring. Grab your BOB/Disaster Supplies Kit and GO!

IF ON OR NEAR SHORE - Get off the shore and get to higher ground quickly! Stay away from rivers and streams that lead to the ocean since tsunamis can travel up them too. You cannot outrun a tsunami ... if you see the wave it’s too late!

IF ON A BOAT - It depends where you are -- either get to land or go
further out to sea ...

In port - May not have time to get out of port or harbor and out to sea - check with authorities to see what you should do. Smaller boats may want to dock and get passengers and crew to land quickly.

In open ocean - DO NOT return to port if a tsunami warning has been issued since wave action is barely noticeable in the open ocean! Stay out in open sea or ocean until authorities advise danger has passed.

Don’t go there - Do NOT try to go down to the shoreline to watch and don’t be fooled by size of one wave - more will follow and they could get bigger so continue listening to radio and TV.


AFTER A TSUNAMI:

Listen - Whether on land or at sea, local authorities will advise when it is safe to return to the area -- keep listening to radio and TV updates.

Watch out - Look for downed power lines, flooded areas and other damage caused by the waves.

Don’t go in there - Try to stay out of buildings or homes that are damaged until it is safe to enter and wear sturdy work boots and gloves when working in the rubble.

Strange critters – Be aware that the waves may bring in many critters from the ocean (marine life) so watch out for pinchers and stingers!

RED or GREEN sign in window – After a disaster, Volunteers and Emergency Service personnel may go door-to-door to check on people. By placing a sign in your window that faces the street near the door, you can let them know if you need them to STOP HERE or MOVE ON.
Either use a piece of RED or GREEN construction paper or draw a big RED or GREEN “X” (using a crayon or marker) on a piece of paper and tape it in the window.
-- RED means STOP HERE!
-- GREEN means EVERYTHING IS OKAY…MOVE ON!
-- Nothing in the window would also mean STOP HERE!

Insurance - If your home suffers any damage, contact your insurance agent and keep all receipts for clean-up and repairs.

Mold - Consider asking a restoration professional to inspect your house for mold. Also check out http://www.epa.gov/mold

Some additional things to check and do...
- Check electrical system (watch for sparks, broken wires or the smell of hot insulation)
- Check appliances after turning off electricity at main fuse and, if wet, unplug and let them dry out. Call a professional to check them before using.
- Check water and sewage system and, if pipes are damaged, turn off main water valve.
- Throw out food, makeup and medicines that may have been exposed to flood waters and check refrigerated foods to see if they are spoiled. If frozen foods have ice crystals in them then okay to refreeze.
- Throw out moldy items that are porous (like rotten wood, carpet padding, furniture, etc.) if they’re too difficult to clean and remove mold. Remove standing water and scrub moldy surfaces with non-ammonia soap or detergent, or a commercial cleaner, rinse with clean water and dry completely. Then use a mixture of 1 part bleach to 10 parts clean water to wipe down surfaces or items, rinse and dry.
- Secure valuable items or move them to another location, if possible


Above extracted from IT'S A DISASTER! book (proceeds benefit APN)


Additional resources...

West Coast / Alaska Tsunami Warning Center
(WC/ATWC - for AK, BC, CA, OR, and WA) http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC - for international authorities, HI and all U.S. territories within Pacific basin) http://www.weather.gov/ptwc/

TsunamiReady:
  http://www.tsunamiready.noaa.gov/

CDC's Tsunami page:
http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/tsunamis/

Flood safety tips thread on APN:
http://www.americanpreppersnetwork.net/viewtopic.php?f=634&t=824

Earthquakes mitigation & safety tips discussion on APN:
http://www.americanpreppersnetwork.net/viewtopic.php?f=634&t=7288

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Tsunami Warning

From:  the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center:

To: U.S. West Coast, Alaska, and British Columbia coastal regions
From: NOAA/NWS/West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center
Subject: Tsunami Warning and Advisory #10 issued 03/11/2011 at 6:47AM PST

The advisory and warning regions remain the same. New observations are listed below.

The Tsunami Warning continues in effect for the coastal areas of California and Oregon from Point Concepcion, California to the Oregon-Washington border.

The Tsunami Warning continues in effect for the coastal areas of Alaska from Amchitka Pass, Alaska (125 miles W of Adak) to Attu, Alaska.

The Tsunami Advisory continues in effect for the coastal areas of California from the California-Mexico border to Point Concepcion, California.

The Tsunami Advisory continues in effect for the coastal areas of Washington, British Columbia and Alaska from the Oregon-Washington border to Amchitka Pass, Alaska (125 miles W of Adak).

A Tsunami Warning means that all coastal residents in the warning area who are near the beach or in low-lying regions should move immediately inland to higher ground and away from all harbors and inlets including those sheltered directly from the sea. Those feeling the earth shake, seeing unusual wave action, or the water level rising or receding may have only a few minutes before the tsunami arrival and should move immediately. Homes and small buildings are not designed to withstand tsunami impacts. Do not stay in these structures.

All residents within the warned area should be alert for instructions broadcast from their local civil authorities. A tsunami has been recorded.

A Tsunami Advisory means that a tsunami capable of producing strong currents or waves dangerous to persons in or very near the water is expected. Significant, widespread inundation is not expected for areas under an advisory. Currents may be hazardous to swimmers, boats, and coastal structures and may continue for several hours after the initial wave arrival.

At 9:46 PM Pacific Standard Time on March 10, an earthquake with preliminary magnitude 8.9 occurred near the east coast of Honshu, Japan . (Refer to the United States Geological Survey for official earthquake parameters.) This earthquake has generated a tsunami which could cause damage to coastal regions in a warning or advisory. Estimated tsunami arrival times and maps along with safety rules and other information can be found on the WCATWC web site.

Measurements or reports of tsunami activity:

 Location                   Lat.   Lon.    Time        Amplitude
 ------------------------  -----  ------  -------     ----------- Shemya  AK                52.7N  174.1E  1130UTC   05.1FT/01.56M
 Adak  AK                  51.9N  176.6W  1223UTC   01.8FT/00.56M
 Midway Is.  USA           28.2N  177.4W  1044UTC   05.1FT/01.55M
 Wake Is.  USA             19.3N  166.6E  0918UTC   01.7FT/00.52M
 Dutch Harbor  AK          53.9N  166.5W  1134UTC   01.6FT/00.48M
 Naha  Japan               26.2N  127.7E  1022UTC   01.6FT/00.49M
 Nikolski  AK              52.9N  168.9W  1342UTC   01.9FT/00.59M
 French Frigate Shoals     23.5N  166.2W  1334UTC   01.8FT/00.56M
 St Paul Is.  AK           57.1N  170.3W  1225UTC   02.0FT/00.61M
 Sand Point  AK            55.3N  160.5W  1347UTC   01.1FT/00.35M
 Nawiliwili Kauai  HI      22.0N  159.4W  1344UTC   02.5FT/00.76M
 Barbers Point  HI         21.5N  158.0W  1312UTC   02.3FT/00.70M
 Honolulu Oahu  HI         21.3N  157.9W  1316UTC   02.2FT/00.66M
 Kahului Maui  HI          20.9N  156.5W  1331UTC   05.7FT/01.74M
 Hilo  HI                  19.7N  155.1W  1343UTC   03.4FT/01.04M
Time - Time of measurement.
Amp. - Tsunami amplitudes are measured relative to normal sea level. It is NOT crest-to-trough wave height. Values are given in both meters (M) and feet (FT).

TSUNAMI AMPLITUDES ARE EXPECTED TO PEAK TWO TO THREE HOURS AFTER INITIAL ARRIVAL ALONG THE NORTH AMERICAN COAST. FORECAST TSUNAMI AMPLITUDES ARE AVAILABLE ON THE WCATWC WEB SITE WCATWC.ARH.NOAA.GOV. THE TSUNAMI CCONTINUES TO IMPACT THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS. THE OBSERVATIONS FROM THESE INITIAL WAVES MAY NOT REPRESENT THE HIGHEST IMPACT.
Tsunamis can be dangerous waves that are not survivable. Wave heights are amplified by irregular shoreline and are difficult to forecast. Tsunamis often appear as a strong surge and may be preceded by a receding water level. Mariners in water deeper than 600 feet should not be affected by a tsunami. Wave heights will increase rapidly as water shallows. Tsunamis are a series of ocean waves which can be dangerous for several hours after the initial wave arrival. DO NOT return to evacuated areas until an all clear is given by local civil authorities.

Pacific coastal regions outside California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska should refer to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center messages for information on the event.

This message will be updated in 60 minutes or sooner if the situation warrants.
(For updates please go to the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center:) The tsunami message will remain in effect until further notice. For further information stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, your local TV or radio stations, or see the WCATWC web site.

Link to Standard Warning Message
Link to Public Warning Message
Link to XML/CAP Message
Link to Printable Message



Download these free Tsunami Survival and Preparedness manuals from www.FreeSurvivalDisk.com

- Fact Sheet - Tsunami

- Tsunami

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Alaska Preppers Roll Call - All Preppers Please Check In

The American Preppers Network is conducting a network-wide roll call.  Whether you are a member or not please check in and let us know what you are doing to prepare.

This is a good opportunity to network with other preppers near you.

Alaska Preppers, to respond to the roll call please follow this link:
http://americanpreppersnetwork.net/viewtopic.php?f=222&t=9245

  • Reply to the Roll Call and let us know what you have been doing to prepare.
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