Tsunamis can strike anywhere along the U.S. coastline. In fact, the city of Norfolk has earned “TsunamiReady” status through the National Weather Service. Tsunamis are enormous waves caused by an underground disturbance such as an earthquake. They can move hundreds of miles per hour, and hit land with waves topping 100 feet in height.

  • Understanding the difference between the terms that identify a tsunami hazard: advisory, watch and warning. For a detailed explanation of these terms, see http://www.fema.gov/areyouready/tsunamis.shtm new window.
  • 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 inland immediately and do not return to the flooded and damaged areas until officials say it is safe to do so.

Stay Informed

  • Listen to weather-alert radios to stay informed of tsunami watches and warnings.
  • Also monitor commercial radio, television and the Internet.
  • Keep in mind that after a tsunami, it could be hours, or even days, before emergency personnel are able to reach you.