Everything you need to know about how to survive a Tsunami

Primary, Secondary and Tertiary effects

  • Tsunamis have many effects on people’s lives, homes and families
  • These include primary, secondary, and tertiary effects
  • Primary is something that happens straight away
  • Secondary is something that happens because of the Primary effects
  • Tertiary is the long term effects of the disaster


Buildings collapse


Property Destruction

Electrical lines fall

Serious Injury

Loss of homes

Billions of dollars lost from the government

Separation of families


Death Toll increases exponentially

Missing persons toll increases exponentially



Tainted water

People start to go hungry, but not starving

People start to go thirsty, but not dehydrated

Airports closed due to flooding

Ports closed due to flooding



Possible radioactive fallout



Poisoned water supplies

Green-Grocers run out of produce

Stores stop being restocked

Businesses have to temporarily close or shut down

Loss of Tourism (Big impact on economy)

What to do in preparation for a tsunami

· Preparing an evacuation route and knowing it well

· Monitoring the ocean for receding tides

· Documenting your important files and possessions

· Stockpiling food, water, clothes and other essential things

· Always have a basic first aid kit

· Be sure to have a multiple frequency radio with spare batteries

· Make sure to have at least one torch with spare batteries

· Learn CPR and basic first aid

· Stay away from buildings that could be knocked down by a wave

· Go to community meetings and discuss what to do in the event of a tsunami

· There are 3 natural tell-tale signs that a tsunami is coming, the first is if you feel the ground shaking near the beach, the second is if you hear a strange roar coming from the water, and the third is if you see the ocean retracting greatly

· If any of these things happen, get to high ground quickly

· Never wait for an official warning if any of the 3 tell-tale signs occur, this will cost you your life

· If you own a boat, always have a plan on where to moor it if a tsunami is expected

· There is one rule to always remember, if you see the tsunami, it is too late to escape

What to do if your caught in the middle of a Tsunami

· Stay away from all rivers and streams, they are likely to flood

· In most low-lying coastal areas there are concrete, multi-story buildings that are excellent refuge during a tsunami

· Go to the top of one of these buildings if you can’t make it to higher ground


· If you manage to survive the first wave, never go down to the beach to look at the damage

· A second wave will always come, and it will arrive anywhere between 2 minutes and a few hours after the first wave

· Never run to the newly exposed ocean even after the tsunami if definitely over, there will most likely be debris and gruesome sights lying around

· Always wait for the authorities to give the all clear before returning home

· If you can’t get anywhere climb a sturdy tree and stay up there until further notice, this should only be used as a last resort

· A tsunami can last for up to eight hours, make sure to stay in a safe place for the entire time

· Never climb a power line, the reason why is obvious

· Avoid taking shelter under or on bridges or overpasses, as these are susceptible to damage from tsunamis

What do the authorities do to minimize damage from a Tsunami?

· The NOAA have a strategy to respond to tsunamis, this list includes:

· A timely and accurate tsunami warning and forecast

· A sustainable NOAA program populated by dedicated and trained staff

· Reliable and coordinated data of the tsunami (To estimate the mass of the rescue mission)

· Technical assistance, training and capacity development both at regional and global levels, supporting the fully operational tsunami warning system

· Integration and interaction with other relevant national, regional and global ocean and coastal observation, warning, mitigation and risk management systems