How to Survive in a Tsunami?

How to Survive in a Tsunami?

Tsunamis represent one of the most dangerous natural hazards for coastal regions and certain parts of Canada. Undersea earthquakes or volcanic eruptions cause these extremely large and destructive sea waves. They can wipe out communities with almost no warning whatsoever. Thus, it is essential for those who live on the coast or visit it to prepare for the incident. This post details a step-by-step process of surviving a tsunami. Let's get in!

What’s a Tsunami

A tsunami is a great sea wave, and it can travel throughout the deepest ocean. It can rear up at the shore from underwater earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or even landslides. Tsunami waves travel across the sea at incredible speeds and can cross the sea with great waves. On shallow coastal waters, they rise to over 30 meters (100 feet). Although sea waves travel slightly faster than other waves, tsunamis are different.

Tsunamis comprise a series of waves in which the first may not be the highest. The travel time between them might be in minutes or even hours, whereby each may inundate a large area with floodwaters and cause havoc. The speed of movement can take buildings down, strip trees, and whip debris into the air as it moves along.

What’s the Difference Between a Tsunami Warning and Tsunami Watch?

Understanding the two is indispensable. This difference between a tsunami warning and a watch could save lives. A warning, though, is that there's an immediate, expected, or occurring tsunami known for causing widespread inundation. This is issued for the public to take action urgently by going to higher ground and away from all low coastal regions. Thus, a warning is an action alert that indicates that a dangerous tsunami is imminent and may arrive in minutes to hours.

Whereas a tsunami watch means a tsunami is possible because of an undersea earthquake or some other similar occurrence. It means one has not been confirmed or detected. That's when people need to be on alert in case there is a need to evacuate, or they should be listening for developments. It is issued so people are alerted, given time to think things through and prepare themselves for any eventuality. An early warning of a watch allows them time to consider their means of evacuation and to prepare themselves without hurrying.

What to Do Before a Tsunami

Prepare as thoroughly as possible for a tsunami. If you are vulnerable, work with your local government to identify your community's risk, local warning and evacuation plans, and local alerting systems. Sign up for local alerts to learn when a tsunami may hit.

Put together a personalized supplies kit. This is designed to support family members for at least three days in an emergency. Include in this box drinking water, nonperishable foods, cash, a portable radio, and any specific family needs. These include medication, baby supplies, and pet food.

Discuss and practice in-house evacuation plans with family members. Know safe routes from home to areas 30 meters above sea level or inland areas 3 kilometers away where it will be secure. In this regard, the whole family should be informed and be able to use these routes quickly and safely.

Update your emergency kits and plans periodically and stay informed about new developments in tsunami preparedness and response. That will make you proactive in a significant way and further enhance the safety and resiliency of your family in the event of a tsunami.

What to Do During a Tsunami

In a tsunami, your quick response can save your life. Observe a local natural warning like a rapidly rising sea or unusual noises coming from the sea. There is a significant likelihood that this is a tsunami. If the events mentioned above are taking place, evacuate the shoreline immediately.

While evacuating, remember that tsunamis might come ashore on coasts, rivers, and estuaries. A tsunami can surge up rivers and streams from the ocean. Follow posted evacuation routes. If none are posted, find the highest ground in the shortest possible distance. If you can't get very high, find a sturdy building and climb to the upper floor if the lower floors are unsafe.

Do not enter the evacuated area until local officials have indicated it is safe. The first wave is not always the strongest. Note that the biggest and most destructive tsunami wave may not be the first. Continue listening to your weather radio, or local radio/television for further information

What to Do After a Tsunami

Hazards will remain in the area after the tsunami. Listen for later information and local authorities and follow their advice. Other secondary hazards can include landslides, water contamination, and infrastructure damage. Wait until the authorities issue a confirmation that it is now safe to go back to your house.

Wait for the property to be inspected and deemed safe by responsible bodies. It must not be structurally damaged. There can be cases of a gas leak or other emergency. Do not use matches, candles, or electric appliances. Apply them only when you're sure there are no gas leaks. Use a flashlight to inspect for damage.

If you require assistance, put a "HELP" placard in your window or signal rescuers. Then, use your emergency supply kit—avoid eating anything and using water that could have been contaminated by flood water. Stay out of debris and downed electrical and other utility lines. Prepare for aftershocks, which can potentially produce additional tsunamis or cause further structural damage.

Support community recoveries by providing time, expertise, or donations through relief organizations. Such reconnection during times of crisis between neighbors and sharing available resources will help a lot.

What are the Signs of a Tsunami?

A tsunami early warning can save many lives. In general, solid or long-lasting earthquakes are the most common cause of tsunamis. Thus, if an earthquake with a shake time of at least 20 seconds in the coastal areas is sensed, it could indicate a possible tsunami. And so, in that line, leave the area and proceed to the higher places.

Other signs are an evident, sudden rise or fall of the water height in coastal regions. If the ocean seems to rush out, leaving the sea floor exposed in a reef or shelf area, or even if the water appears to rise out of nowhere, this very likely indicates that a tsunami is close. The official term for this is a drawdown or drawback, and it can occur from a few minutes ahead of the first wave to several minutes before it. If this happens, do not venture down to the shoreline to see what is happening—move immediately to higher ground.

Another signal of an approaching tsunami can be heard strange, loud noises coming from the ocean. The water sounds anything like an oncoming express train or jet aircraft - this will sound like a roar. It does so due to the enormous power and speed of water traveling to the land. Evacuate to higher ground instantly if you notice that.

Understand that any warning and watch by a competent authority for tsunamis entails an expected or imminent threat. Warnings will be issued based on scientific data from monitoring systems for seismic and sea-level activity. If a warning or watch has been issued, evacuate immediately.  Do not return until competent authorities declare it is safe.

Is It Worth Buying a Portable Power Station for Emergencies?

Power is considered critical during a tsunami. A portable power station can keep essential electrical appliances operational, which can last from several days to weeks in some instances. They power several necessary devices, including medical and communication devices and general home appliances, keeping you safe and comfortable during such disasters.


This one is a firm and compact solution for all portable power needs. Boasting a 1433Wh capacity and 1800W output, it can be used with nearly all appliances and home equipment. In addition, the AC180T is blessed with several multi-charge methods, from solar panels, which means it's versatile to use in case the grid is not available. It weighs virtually nothing and is user-friendly, ensuring you will have a good, reliable power source, short of any anomaly.


This is a mobile solution with a 2,048Wh power station and a 2,400W continuous pure sine wave inverter. Thus, it will be a perfect solution for an extended outage, during which it is possible to provide reliable energy to more robust devices and a couple of appliances simultaneously. Besides, it recharges very quickly and can expand its capacity up to 8,192Wh with additional batteries. The advanced battery management by AC200L assures that it works safely and efficiently. It is, therefore, for real enthusiasts of emergencies.

Final Thoughts

Tsunamis are destructive natural calamities, but with knowledge and the appropriate preparation, the effect can be minimized. Besides, this very knowledge, together with the recognition of the nature of the threat, its warning signs, and what exactly you should do before, during, and after, is essential for survival. But even more investments in emergency provisions and equipment like portable power stations render vital support during and after the disaster.

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