Living in Alaska comes with a price, especially in a state that has a history of strong earthquakes. A natural disaster like an earthquake can happen at anytime without warning, which is why it's always important to be prepared.

Take for instance the Good Friday Earthquake in 1964, which rattled the state and heavily damaged many areas. However, it was the tsunami afterward that led to the most severe damage and left more than 100 people dead. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the major tsunami was triggered from Alaska all the way to California, paving the way for major breakthroughs in earthquakes and tsunamis.

Because of the 1964 quake, various agencies like the NOAA National Tsunami Warning Center were created to detect and analyze earthquakes around the world that could trigger a tsunami. Coastlines are the most vulnerable to tsunamis, which is why it's always important to make sure you have an evacuation plan, along with a tsunami emergency kit. 

A kit is not only necessary for a tsunami, but for any disaster that could leave you displaced or without help for several days. In the event of a tsunami, coastal residents should have an emergency plan. The Department of Homeland Security recommends that families come up with an emergency plan together and practice it so your family will know what to do, should disaster strike.

For tsunamis, a disaster kit is an important part of the family emergency plan and should be prepared and stored well in advance.


A kit should always include:

  • Essential documents
  • Prescription medication
  • Flashlight
  • Portable NOAA weather radio and batteries 
  • Clean drinking water (1 gallon per person, per day)
  • Food (enough for 7 days)
  • Warm clothes

Additionally, you can include other things in your emergency kit to ensure you are well protected from the elements and have the tools needed if stuck in a bind. More information on disaster kits from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is available on the website.

If you find yourself living in an area that has a high chance of a tsunami, always have a plan in place and know what to do when the alarms sound. If you're near the coast and you feel the ground shaking to the point that you can't stand up, head inland or to higher ground. 

While earthquakes and tsunamis can be unpredictable, having an emergency plan in place will make dealing with disaster easier.