California Tsunami Preparedness Week 2023

March 22, 2023 2:14 PM
by David Islas

As we take a break from the rain and spend more time outside this spring, new things might catch your eye like, "The community gardens look greener this year! The North Beach Playground is amazing! What are those blue and white 'Tsunami Evacuation Route' signs?"

Tsunamis are a series of waves that are caused by underwater ground movement — whether earthquakes, volcanoes, or landslides. These waves can arrive within minutes of a major local earthquake and raise the sea level quickly, placing those near shore in life-threatening danger. Even distant events can create fast waves that can travel across the Pacific Ocean and impact California's coastline.

State scientists have studied, calculated, and mapped coastal areas that could potentially be affected by a tsunami's surging waters. Santa Monica's Office of Emergency Management professionals have worked with state officials and other City departments, including Police, Fire, Public Works, and Information Services, to develop evacuation and communication plans for these areas should a tsunami occur.

People who live, work, or play along the City's coast or on the beaches have a bit of responsibility beyond remembering to wear sunscreen. Use this year's Tsunami Preparedness Week, occurring March 25 – 31, to refresh your tsunami knowledge.

Brenda Cruz, MPH of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) reminds locals, "Know the natural warning signs of a tsunami: If you feel an earthquake longer than 20 seconds, see a sudden rise or fall of the ocean, or hear a loud roar from the ocean – head to higher ground immediately when in Santa Monica's Tsunami Zone."

For more information on how to prepare yourself and your family for a tsunami and other emergencies, visit Santa Monica's OEM website.

OEM is responsible for the City’s 9-1-1 Communications Center and Emergency Operations Center. OEM strives to make the City of Santa Monica a disaster-resilient community.

Authored By

David Islas
Project Support Assistant


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