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Tsunami Clearinghouse - Coastal Residents Steps

Don't be caught off guard!

tsunami evacuation icon

Coastal Residents: Steps to Be Prepared

  1. Identify earthquake hazards in your home
  2. Know your local tsunami hazard zones & routes
  3. Make a disaster plan
  4. Prepare disaster kits
  5. Protect yourself during an earthquake
  6. Evacuate if necessary
  7. Follow your plan

1. Identify earthquake hazards in your home.

The first step to earthquake and tsunami safety is recognize your hazards. Look around your home and work place and identify objects that might fall or shift during shaking.

FEMA Publication 528: Earthquake Home Hazard Hunt

FEMA Publication 528: Earthquake Home Hazard Hunt

2. Know your local tsunami hazard zones and routes.

evac rte evacuation zone  

Be prepared! Wherever you may be on the Oregon coast, know your local tsunami hazard zones. Evacuation maps have been developed for the entire Oregon coast and may be downloaded by community or visit the interactive Tsunami Evacuation Map web portal and search by address or coastal area. When visiting the coast look for street signs that indicate if you are in a tsunami hazard zone and which streets are part of a tsunami evacuation route. If signs are not available, determine where you need to go from the maps.

3. Make a disaster plan.

Before the next earthquake or tsunami, talk to your family, housemates or co-workers and plan what each person will do before, during and after. After the shaking stops or the waves recede, power, utilities, communication systems and roads may be out, fires and chemical spills may occur, or you may be separated from children, pets and other family members. By planning now, you will be ready. Planning for earthquakes and tsunamis will also prepare you for other more frequent emergencies such as storms, fires, and flooding.

4. Prepare disaster kits.

Get a Kit - Make Plan - Be Informed

(American Red Cross)

emergency kit

You should have the following:


5. Protect yourself during an earthquake.


6. Evacuate if necessary.

If you feel ground shaking, a local earthquake may be happening. Immediately follow your evacuation plan (step #2, above) and evacuate out of the LOCAL (yellow) tsunami inundation zone and get to high ground as quickly as possible. If a warning of a distant tsunami has been issued, evacuate out of the DISTANT (orange) tsunami inundation zone and get to high ground as quickly as possible.

7. Follow your plan.

Once you have met your and your family?s immediate needs, continue to follow the plan you prepared in advance.


Stay away from the coast until officials reopen the area for you to return.

  • The first surge is almost never the largest. The largest waves may arrive hours after the first.
  • Successive surges will arrive at irregular intervals spaced minutes to tens of minutes apart. The danger period may last eight hours or longer.
  • Never go to the coast to watch a tsunami. Tsunamis move faster than a person can run. Incoming traffic hampers safe and timely evacuation of coastal areas.

Be in communication ?

Listen to your NOAA Weather Radio for updates on the hazard and for instructions on what to do.


You may be safest staying in your home even if the power is off and some items have been damaged. Shelters may be overcrowded and initially lack many services. Use the information you put together in your disaster plan and the supplies you organized in your disaster kits.

  • Do not use open flames (candles, matches, lighters or grills) or operate any device that could generate a spark such as light switches, generators, motor vehicles until you are sure there are no gas leaks.
  • Never use a camp stove, gas lantern or heater, gas or charcoal grill, or gas generator indoors.

Be in communication ?

  • Use your portable, car, or NOAA Weather Radio for updates and safety advisories. Scan channels to find
    one that is on air and broadcasting safety information.
  • Call your out-of-area contact and tell them your status, then stay off the phone. Emergency responders need the phone lines for life-saving communications.
  • Check on the condition of your neighbors.