Tsunamis can strike anywhere along the U.S. coastline. In fact, the city of Norfolk has earned “Tsunami Ready” status through the National Weather Service. Tsunamis are enormous waves caused by an underground disturbance, such as an earthquake. They can move as fast as 600 mph, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and hit land with waves topping 100 feet in height.
- Understand the different terms that identify a tsunami hazard: advisory, watch and warning.
- Plan to act quickly. If you are in coastal waters and notice a dramatic recession of water from the shoreline you should heed nature’s warning that a tsunami is approaching.
- Move to higher ground immediately and do not return to the flooded and damaged areas until officials say it is safe to do so.
- Stay away from the beach. Never go down to the beach to watch a tsunami make landfall. If you can see the wave, you are too close to escape it.
- Save yourself – not your possessions.
- Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance, such as infants, elderly people and individuals with access or functional needs.