Tsunami Week: What to do if it happens
A tsunami can pack a deadly punch, but there are a number of things you can do to keep you and your family as safe as possible if one is headed your way.
First, it’s important to find out if you’re in a tsunami prone area. In Alaska, a tsunami can strike nearly every community facing the Pacific Ocean. That includes the Aleutian chain, the west and east sides of the Kenai Peninsula, Prince William Sound, as well as much of the southeast.
However, Anchorage is not likely to see a tsunami. Cook Inlet keeps the waves from making it that far in. There is a similar situation for many of the inner channels of the southeast Alaska.
For a closer look at the likely inundation zones in Alaska, click here.
If you’re in a low lying, coastal area and you feel an earthquake, shaking hard enough that it’s difficult to stand up and lasts for more than 20 seconds, a local tsunami may be generated and the National Weather Service recommends you go to a safe place immediately. Don’t wait for a warning from officials.
It’s recommended to find a place 100 feet above the sea level or go two miles inland. If that’s not an option, find a tall, reinforced concrete building and head up to at least the third floor.
Once in a safe place, wait for the all clear from local officials.
Remember, a tsunami is a series of waves, not a single wave and the first wave may not be the largest.
If the tsunami was generated further away you will likely have more time to evacuate. Make sure you know your evacuation route from your home, work or school ahead of time.
Follow the evacuation order issued by local authorities. Remember to take your pets with you and help your neighbors.
If you don’t know where the designated public shelter is text “SHELTER” plus your zip code to 43362.
It’s important to stay away from the evacuation zone until local officials say it’s safe to return. Stay tuned to television or radio for any updates. You can also update your status on the American Red Cross’ Safe and Well website.