National Tsunami Preparedness Week is March 24-30

Tsunami Preparedness Week

Tsunami: A series of waves or surges most commonly
caused by an earthquake beneath the sea floor.

Catastrophic tsunamis are rare, we may have a tendency to get complacent and think that one will never happen while we’re at the beach. However, every coastline in the world is vulnerable to a tsunami. Although a tsunami cannot be prevented, you can diminish adverse impacts through community preparedness, timely warnings and effective response. 

Real-time deep ocean tsunami detectors provide the data necessary to make forecasts possible, giving coastal communities the tools needed to reduce the impact of future tsunamis.

To boost tsunami preparedness efforts, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services is partnering with the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP), NOAA, FEMA and USGS to promote and support National Tsunami Preparedness Week from March 23–29. During this week, we hope to promote safety and awareness and urge coastal residents as well as visitors to prepare themselves and their families for a tsunami. We invite you to register if you are participating in a tsunami drill! Visit today!

California continues to be a world leader in emergency preparedness and response efforts. Yet, it is the advance preparedness measures of each individual that provides the first line of defense against any emergency. By taking the time to learn and understand your risks and working to prepare for those situations, you put yourself and those around you in a better position to survive and endure whatever Mother Nature may send your way.

This year, Tsunami Preparedness Week will also commemorate the anniversary of the Great Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami. The magnitude 9.2 earthquake occurred in Alaska’s Prince William Sound on March 27, 1964, and remains the largest recorded earthquake in U.S. history and the second largest in the world. Valdez, Anchorage and many villages along the Alaska Coast were significantly damaged or destroyed by the earthquake and the tsunamis that followed. More than 130 people died in Alaska, Oregon and California.  Damage from the tsunamis alone, which also impacted the U.S. and Canadian west coasts and Hawaii, was estimated at almost $311 million dollars.

Know Your Risk and How to Prepare

Use the following resources to understand the risk to tsunami where you live and learn how you can take steps now to be prepared.

Tsunami Resources

California Geological Survey (CGS)

National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)


Alaska Anniversary

March 27, 2014, marks the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake and Tsunamis. This is the largest recorded earthquake in U.S. history with a magnitude 9.2 shaking that lasted more than 4 minutes.

Click here to watch a historical video.

Japan Anniversary

March 11, 2014, marked the 3rd Anniversary of the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. The 9.0 undersea quake off the Pacific coast of Tōhoku was not only the fifth most powerful earthquake recorded in the world, but the most powerful earthquake to have happened in Japan.

NOAA Marine Debris Program Director Nancy Wallance examines where we are now and what is happening with the debris that three years later continues to wash ashore in the United States.

Click here to read.

Accuracy in Disaster Movies

Do you enjoy the thrill of huge catastrophe movies? Ever wonder how true-to-life those blockbusters really are?
The Cal OES Public Information team sat down with two of the state's top scientists to discuss the film "The Impossible."

Click here to listen.

Tsunami Prep Week Events

Sunday, March 23rd

·      5/10 K Tsunami Surge Fun Run
8:00am , Crescent City
Disaster Preparedness Pet Walk
       Noon, Crescent City

Monday, March 24th

·      Tsunami Awareness &Preparedness - Meet           the Experts Live Web Stream
        7:00pm, Aquarium of the Pacific, Los Angeles

Wednesday, March 26th
Tsunami Walk and Media Event,
       10:15am, Kellogg Park, San Diego
·      Tsunami Warning Communication Test  
       Central & Sourthern California (
       10:15am, coastal areas of Central & So. Cal
Tsunami Safe: "Know Your Zone" Exercise,
       11:00am, Del Norte County
·      Tsunami Warning Communication
.      Test N.Cal. (PDF)
       11:00am, coastal areas of Northern California
·      TsunamiReady Ceremony
       2:00pm, Santa Barbara
·      Tsunami Functional Exercise: Alert & Warning
       All Day, San Francisco


Thursday, March 27th

·      Tsunami Preparedness Fair
       8:30am, Wieder Park, Huntington Beach
·      Presentation-Tsunami Zone in L.A. County
       9:00am, Burton Chase Park Community Center, .      Marina del Rey
·      Functional Tsunami Exercise
       9:00am, Orange County
Tsunami Walk Out Drill
       10:00am, Muir Beach
·      Lab and Lunch: Preparing for a Tsunami
       Noon, Exploratorium, San Francisco
Telephone Emergency Notification System        .      Call-Out, all day, Sonoma County
Tsunami Functional Exercise: Response & Policy
       All Day, San Francisco

Friday, March 28th
Tsunami Functional Exercise: Recovery
       All Day, San Francisco

Saturday, March 29th
Tsunami Walk and Resilience Fair
       10:30am, Marina Green, San Francisco