A tsunami (soo-NAH-mee) is a series of traveling ocean waves of extremely long length. These generally appear as a large, steep wave face and produce rapid flooding of low-lying coastal areas. These are generated by disturbances associated primarily with earthquakes occurring below or near the ocean floor. This can also be generated by landslides, both above and beneath the surface of the ocean.
It may take hours for tsunami waves to reach the Coast of Maui County following an earthquake far out in the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center located on Oahu alerts local officials who may order evacuation. Some isolated areas may not receive official announcements. If you notice a sudden drop or rise in sea level, it may be a warning of impending danger. Move to high ground or inland immediately.
The waves can kill and injure people and cause great property damage where they come ashore. The first wave is often not the largest and may be spaced many miles and minutes apart. They may also continue to arrive for several hours.
The most destructive tsunami can be classified as local or regional, meaning their destructive effects are confined to coasts within 60 - 600 miles of the source -- usually an earthquake. It follows that the majority of tsunami related casualties and property damage also come from a local tsunami. Between 1975 and 1998 there have been at least eighteen in the Pacific and its adjacent seas resulting in significant casualties and/or property damage.
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Emergency Management Agency sirens are tested each month at 11:45 a.m. on the first working day of each month. If you hear the outdoor warning siren, turn on your radio to one of the following local radio stations for information: KMVI-AM 550/FM 98.3 KNUI-AM 900/FM 99.9 KAOI-AM 1110/FM 95.1/FM 96.7 (upcountry) KLHI-FM 101.1 (west Maui) KPOA-FM 93.5 (west Maui) KMMK-FM 102.3 KDLX-FM 94.3 KNUQ-FM 103.3 or 103.7 KONI-FM 104.7 KPMW-FM 105.5 After turning on your radio, listen for emergency information and instructions. Take the necessary protective actions as directed and keep tuned for further information and instructions.
A "Watch" is an official announcement that a hazardous condition may be a serious threat to life and property within a particular time. "WATCH" status means you should GET READY and LISTEN to your radio or television for further instructions.
A "WARNING" is an official announcement that hazardous, life-threatening conditions are about to occur or are occurring. "WARNING" status means you should TAKE ACTION.
If your area is advised to evacuate and you are unable to do so, immediately inform the authorities of your situation. If you area is not advised to evacuate, you may still report to the designated shelter closest to your location.
1. FOOD: Keep at least two weeks of food in an airtight, waterproof container. Dry food has a shelf life, so rotate periodically.
2. WATER: Store at least two weeks of water specifically for your pets in addition to water you need for yourself and family.
3. MEDICINE: Keep an extra supply of medicines your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container.
4. FIRST AID KIT: Talk to your veterinarian about what is most appropriate for your pet's emergency medical needs.
5. COLLAR with ID TAG, HARNESS or LEASH: Your pet should wear a collar with its identification at all times. Permanent methods of identification like microchips or tattooing should be used.
6. CRATE/PET CARRIER: If you need to evacuate in an emergency situation, take your pets and animals with you - provided it is practical to do so. In many cases, your ability to do so will be aided by having a sturdy, safe, comfortable crate or carrier ready for transporting your pet. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down. Help your dog get accustomed to the crate by using it from time to time. Don't wait until emotions and stress are high due to an emergency situation to introduce your pet to the carrier or crate.
7. FAMILIAR ITEMS: Put favorite toys, treats, or bedding in your kit. Familiar items can help reduce stress for your pet.
For further information, go to the Maui Humane Society website at www.mauihumanesociety.org.
When you evacuate to a shelter, take an evacuation kit. The kit is also listed in your phone book. For more useful information, view the Maui Emergency Management Agency website. Bringing your own evacuation kit to the shelter is very important. Shelter supplies will be very limited. The American Red Cross asks that the following not be brought to an emergency shelter:
Space may be limited to as little as 10 square feet per person.
Go to the strongest parts of the house or building and stay there, preferably on the first floor. Once you are in as safe a place as possible - wait and listen to your radio for further instructions. Do not go outside, flying objects can seriously injure you. Stay on the first floor, unless flooding will occur, and stay way from glass windows. If necessary, use mattresses and blankets to form a protective barrier around you.
If they eye of the storm passes over you, the wind may completely stop for a few minutes to half an hour or more. Do not mistake this lull for the end of the hurricane! Stay indoors unless emergency precautions or emergency movement to a safer location are absolutely necessary. The other side of the hurricane is coming and will create hurricane force winds from the opposite direction.
Travel is extremely dangerous during a hurricane.
- Prepare a 14 day home survival kit ready for use in emergencies.- Plan in advance where to locate household members in case they are separated.- Store important papers and valuables in waterproof packaging where they can be easily reaches if you plan to take these items with you.- Keep the car gas tank at least 3/4 full.
DON'T use the telephone. Leave lines open for emergency calls only.
Don't touch downed powerlines or objects in contact with powerlines.
Don't use elevators, use stairways instead.
Don't go sightseeing.
DON'T spread rumors. Get the facts from official sources.
DO secure your home. Lock doors and windows. Know where to locate electrical, water and gas sources if advised to turn off utilities. Secure or store objects that may cause damage or injury.
DO stay tuned to a local radio or TV station for official weather and emergency management instructions.
A strong off-shore earthquake may generate a tsunami. Therefore, if you feel the ground shake, evacuate inland or to high ground immediately and return only after officials say it is safe to do so. During distant source tsunami events, local emergency management officials will advise citizens to evacuate by sounding the outdoor warning sirens, making an announcement over the Emergency Alert System (EAS) or over NOAA Weather Radio or local radio broadcasts. Compliance is voluntary, but orders are given only in the most serious of circumstances.
Go to an area 50 feet above sea level, if possible. If you don't have time to travel to high ground, but are in a multi-story building, go to an upper level of the home or building. If you are on the beach and unable to get to high ground go inland as far as you can. The tsunami evacuation maps found in the telephone book illustrate the tsunami zomes and primary evacuation routes. Take your disaster supply kit with you, if possible. Shelters will be opened as needed. Listen to your radio for details. Pets are allowed at most emergency shelters, but please check and plan ahead for their safety.
If you see an unexpected rise or fall in the coastal water, a tsunami may be approaching. Do not wait - instead move inland or uphill as quickly as possible.
Go on foot if necessary, particularly if an earthquake has caused damage to roads, power lines, and resulted in significant debris.
If you are camping on or near the beach, you may have to abandon your campsite to go inland or to higher ground to save your life.
Remember: Never go to the coast to watch a tsunami. Tsunamis move faster than a person can run.
Stay tuned to your radio, marine radio or NOAA Weather Radio during a disaster. Bulletins will be issued regularly through local emergency management officials and National Weather Service. Call 9-1-1 only for life threatening emergencies.
Do not return to shore after the first wave. Wait for emergency management officials to give the "All Clear" before you return.
Develop a family disaster plan, everyone needs to know what to do on their own to protect them from an earthquake.
Be familiar with local emergency management earthquake and tsunami plans, know where to go to survive a tsunami.
Be prepared to survive on your own for a minimum of three days and up to 14 days. Prepare a disaster supply kit for your home, automobile and work. A list of recommended supplies for your kit can be found on this web site. Take a first aid course and learn survival skills.
Knowledge is your greatest defense against potential disaster.