What to do before, during and after a tsunami

Tsunamis are severe and extremely dangerous surges of water caused by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides or meteorites. Here is what you can do to try to keep yourself safe from them.

Video Transcript

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- Tsunamis are severe and extremely dangerous surges of water caused by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, or meteorites. Some tsunamis will take hours to arrive, while others may only take moments. It's difficult to predict when an event will occur that will cause a tsunami, but scientists are able to track them using an international network of ocean sensors. Here's what you could do to try and keep yourself safe from them.

Before a tsunami, get an emergency plan together. As part of your emergency plan, make sure you have a way to receive localized alerts that will notify you about a potential tsunami. Outdoor warning sirens are typically used to notify beach-goers of tsunami warnings. Put together an emergency action plan that includes escape routes and takes into account functional or access needs.

During a tsunami, get to higher ground or go as far inland as you can. If you can't escape, get to the highest level of a building. Never go to the beach or stay in a risk area, because tsunamis are extremely quick-moving and will overtake you, submerging you into a wave of deadly debris. After a tsunami, follow all instructions from local officials. There will likely be several waves, and it may not be safe to return for some time.

When re-entering homes and buildings, use caution, because floodwaters could have damaged the structural integrity. Look for and report broken utility lines, using extreme caution when walking near them, and take pictures of damage for insurance and landlords. For more safety and preparedness tips and tools, visit AccuWeather.com/ready.