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Tsunami Preparedness Week
updated: Mar 24, 2014, 9:33 AM

Source: Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management

The National Weather Service has identified the week of 23-29 March 2014 as Tsunami Preparedness Week in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Alaskan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami which occurred on March 27th, 1964.

The magnitude 9.2 earthquake, the second largest in world history, impacted the west coasts of Alaska, Oregon and California, causing the deaths of over 130 people and an estimated $1 billion dollars in damage (current dollars).

As a reminder that a tsunami could strike the U.S. coastline at any time, national, state and local agencies are promoting and supporting Tsunami Preparedness Week in order to boost tsunami awareness and preparedness. The Santa Barbara Office of Emergency Management, in partnership with CalOES and the National Weather Service, are urging coastal residence and visitors to take a few minutes and review some simple warning signs and what to do in the event of a local or far source tsunami.

In Santa Barbara County, tsunami warnings are issued through television and radio, social media like twitter and facebook, text alerts and Reverse 911, and local officials. Local earthquakes can also cause a tsunami that could reach the coast within minutes after the seismic event. For that reason it is import to understand the warning signs:

- A strong earthquake at the coast, or one that persists - A sudden rise or fall of the ocean tide - A loud, roaring sound from the ocean

If any of the above events occur while you and your family are at the beach or near the coastline take the following actions:

- Immediately move inland to high ground outside the hazard zone - Turn on your radio or television to learn if there is a tsunami warning - Stay away from the beach until officials say it is safe to return

NOTE: A tsunami is a series off waves that can last for hours. The first wave may not be the last or the most dangerous.

During Tsunami Preparedness Week, many coastal communities in California will be engaging in awareness events. To see a list of these events, or to register an event of your own, go to http://www.tsunamizone.org/. Additional information can be found at http://nthmp.tsunami.gov/tpw/tsunami-preparedness-week.html .

The NOAA/National Weather Service will be conducting a Tsunami Warning drill via the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Wednesday, 26 March 2014.


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