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Disaster Preparedness

How to Ensure Employee Safety During a Tsunami

Tsunamis can happen at any time of the year, and any time of the day or night, according to the Red Cross. If you border the Pacific Ocean or the Caribbean, you face the greatest risk of encountering a tsunami. 

Here’s a look at how you can stay alert and prepared to keep your team safe during a tsunami. 

Let your team know that there’s an emergency. 

  • Know the signs. If a coastal earthquake occurs, follow earthquake safety procedures. If a tsunami warning is issued near you, that means a tsunami may have been generated and could arrive in a matter of minutes. 
  • If a tsunami watch is issued, that means it hasn’t yet been verified but could exist – and might be as little as an hour away.
  • If you’re at work, get your team together and review the evacuation plan.
  • Listen to local broadcasts for up-to-date information on whether a tsunami is coming. 
  • The Department of Homeland Security says you should stay alert for natural signs of a tsunami, like a sudden rise or draining of ocean water.

Follow instructions.

  • Get to higher ground, as far inland as you can, as quickly as you can. 
  • It’s important to listen to local authorities. Their evacuation routes might be different than one you’d planned, or you may be instructed to go higher than you thought necessary. 
  • The Red Cross says that if you see the wave, you’re too close to escape it. Stay away from the beach or cliffs; don’t attempt to watch the tsunami come in. 
  • Stay away from buildings and bridges, as heavy objects can fall on or near them during an aftershock. 
  • Avoid downed power lines.
  • If you find yourself in water, DHS recommends finding something that floats and holding on to it.
  • Stay away from your home or office until local authorities say it’s safe to return. Remember that there may be more than one tsunami wave, and the next one can be larger than the first. 

Stay informed.

Following a tsunami, listen to local authorities so you can stay up-to-date with any news of aftershocks, additional tsunami waves, and when it’s safe to return home or to your office.

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