National Disaster Coordinator/Fire Chief Clive Richardson says Monday, November 5 is World Tsunami Awareness Day under the theme, “It’s all we can do. Be Prepared.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) describes a tsunami as a series of ocean waves generated by sudden displacements in the sea floor, landslides, or volcanic activity.
“In the deep ocean, the tsunami wave may only be a few inches high. The tsunami wave may come gently ashore or may increase in height to become a fast moving wall of turbulent water several meters high.
“Although a tsunami cannot be prevented, the impact of a tsunami can be mitigated through community preparedness, timely warnings, and effective response.”
For a destructive force such as a tsunami, the only way is to be prepared. The Caribbean Region is a seismic zone and there are exposed coastal areas.
While tsunamis cannot be prevented, the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) would like to offer the information on things you can do before a tsunami that could save your life and the lives of your family and friends.
When a tsunami warning is issued, ‘take action!’ Move to high ground; stay out of the water, away from beaches and waterways.
According to the NOAA, a natural tsunami warning may your first, best or only warning that a tsunami is on its way. Natural tsunami warnings include strong or long earthquakes, a loud roar (like a train or an airplane) from the ocean, and unusual ocean behavior.
The ocean could look like a fast-rising flood or a wall of water. Or, it could drain away suddenly, showing the ocean floor, reefs and fish like a very low, low tide. If you experience any of these warnings, even just one, a tsunami could be coming.
Some additional preparations that you should have in place are: Make an emergency plan that includes a family communication plan and put together a portable disaster supplies kit that is easily accessible and contains basic items you and your family may need in any emergency.
Include your pets in all your preparedness efforts. Since you do not know where you will be when disaster strikes, prepare kits for work and your car, too. Meet with your family to discuss the plan and why you need to prepare for a disaster. Practice your plan and keep it up to date.
Be a role model. Share your knowledge and plans with friends and neighbors so they can prepare themselves and their loved ones.
The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 was adopted by United Nations (UN) Member States on 18 March 2015 at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.
The Framework aims to achieve the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries over the next 15 years.