A 7.9 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Alaska Tuesday morning provides a timely reminder to be ready in case of an earthquake or tsunami.
PORTLAND, Ore., January 23, 2018 -- The Red Cross is urging residents of Oregon and Southwest Washington to take preparedness actions following a tsunami watch along the U.S. Pacific Coast.
A 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck in the Gulf of Alaska Tuesday morning, triggering tsunami warnings for Alaska and western Canada, as well as tsunami watches all along the U.S. Pacific Coast. Although the tsunami warnings have been downgraded to advisories, the Red Cross urges residents of Oregon and Southwest Washington to take preparedness steps to be ready in the event of a tsunami following a major earthquake.
Although not as severe as a tsunami warning, a tsunami advisory means that there is potential for strong currents or waves to develop that may be dangerous to those who are in or very near water. If you live in a coastal area, follow these Red Cross tsunami safety tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
Before a Tsunami
Find out if your home, school, workplace or other frequently visited locations are in tsunami hazard areas.
Make an escape plan and build an emergency supplies kit. Find a supply list at www.redcross.org/PrepareGuide.
If you live or frequent a place in a tsunami hazard area, know the height of your street above sea level and the distance of your street from the coast. Evacuation orders may be based on these numbers.
Plan evacuation routes from your home, school, workplace and other places you could be where tsunamis present a risk. If possible, pick areas 100 feet (30 meters) above sea level or go as far as 2 miles (3 kilometers) inland, away from the coastline. If you cannot get this high or far, go as high or far as you can. Every foot inland or upward may make a difference. You should be able to reach your safe location on foot within 15 minutes.
Learn the evacuation plan where your child attends school.
Find out if the plan requires you to pick your children up from school or from another location. During a tsunami watch or warning, telephone lines may be overloaded and routes to and from schools may be jammed.
Practice your evacuation routes. Familiarity may save your life. Be able to follow your escape route at night and during inclement weather. Practicing your tsunami survival plan makes the appropriate response more of a reaction, requiring less thinking during an actual emergency.
If you are a tourist, familiarize yourself with local tsunami evacuation information. You may be able to safely evacuate to the third floor or higher in reinforced concrete hotel structures.
During a Tsunami
If you feel an earthquake while you are on the coast, drop, cover and hold on if inside and avoid falling objects if outside.
When the shaking has stopped, move quickly inland and to higher ground. Go on foot if possible.
Take your disaster preparedness kit (go bag), but don't delay leaving.
If you evacuate, take your animals with you. If it is not safe for you, it is not safe for them.
If a tsunami watch is issued, listen to a NOAA weather radio, Coast Guard emergency frequency station or other official sources for updated emergency information and be ready to evacuate.
Remain inland and on higher ground until an "all clear" announcement is made by local officials.
After a Tsunami
Let friends and family know you're safe.
o Register yourself as safe on the Safe and Well website at www.redcross.org/safeandwell.
Continue using a NOAA weather radio or tuning to a Coast Guard station, or a local radio or television station for the latest updates.
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. The next wave may be larger than the first one.
Check yourself for injuries and get first aid as needed before helping injured or trapped persons.
If someone needs to be rescued, call professionals who have the right equipment to help. Many people have been killed or injured trying to rescue others.
Help people who require special assistance--infants, elderly people, those without transportation, people with disabilities and large families who may need additional help in an emergency situation.
Avoid disaster areas. Your presence might interfere with emergency response operations and put you at further risk from the residual effects of floods.
Stay out of any building that has water around it. Tsunami water can cause floors to crack or walls to collapse.
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.
To avoid injury, wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up.
Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
For more disaster preparedness tools and information, visit www.redcross.org/PrepareGuide
to download the free Red Cross Prepare Guide that has all the info you need to be prepared for disasters of all kinds.
DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS
People can download the Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to weather alerts for their area and where loved ones live. Expert medical guidance and a hospital locator are included in the First Aid App in case travelers encounter any mishaps. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/Cascades or find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/RedCrossCascades, Twitter at @RedCrossCasc and find us on Instagram at @RedCrossCascades.