Survive tsunami & floods




Increasing the odds of surviving tsunamis & floods

The description for "Tsunami & floods" can be found under "Why be prepared"





Surviving any number of disasters and calamities is largely dependent upon where we spend the majority of our lives. Those who live and work near coastal regions most likely understand the risks associated with their specific environments. It is just the same for inland regions susceptible to flooding during heavy seasons of precipitation. Adding to this repertoire of issues remains the potential for failure to levy's and dams which as anyone can guess can be catastrophic. Surviving tsunamis, tidal waves and flood conditions may seem like an easy thing to do, ... until we are faced with a real live situation. These types of events can be a surprise catching people off guard. As described in many publications, ...  tsunamis typically have no face such as with a wave created by an asteroid strike. They can be triggered off shore and sneak up on coastal residence like a thief in the night. Survivors of tsunamis often claim that very little or no noise at all accompanies the event thus making it tougher to detect. By the time a tsunami is seen it is often too late. A tsunami is not limited to impacting shore lines. They have been known to traverse inland up to a mile. Other wave forms generated by extreme weather or asteroid impacts can cause devastation several miles inland. Despite the differences between the cause and effects, ... these events can be prepared for with enough warning and education to the potential signs. Surviving such a calamity requires preparation and awareness.



The following is intended to provide relative information known to be effective and conducive for surviving tsunamis & floods.



National Tsunami Warning Center



FEMA Flood Map Service Center





Preparing in Advance


Understanding potentials for danger

It is important to consider whether or not we live in regions that could potentially experience a tsunami, abnormal tidal wave event or flooding. If it is known or discovered that we are, ... it is likely that we are also at some degree of risk which should be addressed.The first step might be to recognize the potentials for danger.


The following are indicators for potential risks associated with such events.

»  Our home, school, or workplace is in or fairly close to a coastal region, ... near the ocean.

»  The elevation of our home, school or workplace is at sea level or relatively close enough to experience the consequences of intrusion. This includes areas known for poor run off or drainage such as a valley floor surrounded by mountains.

»  There are posted warning signs indicating that our area is prone to tsunamis, excessive tidal activity or flooding.

»  Local authorities and weather stations have issued information about the potentials for tsunamis and flooding. See the index for weather alerts here. [Alerts]

»  Natural ocean barriers such as levees and dunes have been removed for development. These barriers are indicative of historical activity and can provide clues to previous events. Not something to ignore.

»  Many such events occur in what is referred to as the "ring of fire," ... an area in the Pacific ocean known for its geological activity. (Earthquakes) Chile, the western United States, Japan, and the Philippines are especially vulnerable to such activity.

»  known volcanic regions, (active or dormant), which have the potential to create a ripple effect in ocean waters also present a degree of added risk to coastal dwellers.

»  Other risks are associated with the potential for an asteroid or celestial debris impact to ocean waters. This is considered by many people to be an extinction level event yet it does not detour survival minded enthusiasts from preparing for an event none the less. That being said, ... it may be advantageous to consider a bug out location with a water tight bunker. For those residing within coastal regions a rapid evacuation should be considered upon realizing an impact event is imminent, ... regardless of where it may strike.

»  Additional notes on potential dangers for tsunamis are associated with terror attacks from ocean vessels moving throughout shipping channels. Weapons of mass destruction can get close enough to coastal regions to cause megatsunami waves following a detonation. Is the region in which we live or work located near those shipping channels?  If so, ... a risk exists.

»  Potential dangers associated with flooding exists for those who live in and around low lying areas such as with valley floors surrounded by mountains, ... especially if there are rivers and creeks running through the region. Heavy or rapid rain fall can certainly present situations of concern for flash flooding. It would certainly be advantageous to understand the intricacies associated with these areas when planning a vacation as well. Be advised and attentive to roads which travel through and between steep mountains during a down pour or rainy season. See the videos below.



Preparing essential equipment and supplies

It is always a good idea to err on the side of preparedness. If a tsunami, (or any other disaster), occurs, ... our chances are better for enduring such events when we have a few items known to be conducive for survival. During those times when disaster strikes we are very often preoccupied with being in the moment when confusion is all around us. In these situations it becomes a little more difficult to make quick and rational decisions so it can be helpful to have a survival pack assembled and ready to go.


»  Prepare a grab n go (bugout) bag

Food, water, and a first aid kit are among the basics required. Keep a safety pack somewhere obvious, well-known to everyone in the building and easy to grab in case of an emergency. It can also be helpful to stage a raincoat or other weather related clothing for each person near the grab n go pack.


»  Prepare a personal survival pack

It can certainly be advantageous for each person in the family to have their own survival pack with a basic selection of common items. Including a supply of necessary or specific medications for each member of the family may be imperative depending upon the situation. Don't forget those survival items for the pets. They are family too.


Below are items known to be acquired by survival minded enthusiasts in preparations for evacuating, (Bugging out). There are various stages of preparations for each scenario which is also contingent upon the available time allotted to evacuate an area. A survival back pack ,(Grab n go bag), is of the first to be consider followed by a small trailer. Extensive preparedness often includes a secondary location with a stash of supplies. (A bug out location typically away from potential danger). The items listed below are examples to consider but are not in any way a complete and full array of equipment and supplies. They are however a starting place for those who are new in preparing. Tsunamis and floods are situations that eventually dissipate  therefore the amount of supplies and gear needed is typically limited to getting through a few days or so.



⇓⇓⇓ Evacuation / bugout supplies & equipment ⇓⇓⇓


Water & Hydration

»  Drinking Water

»  Water bottle or canteen

»  Water Filters / Purification Systems

»  Water Purification Tablets

»  Plastic bags for water extraction from plants and trees


Nourishment & food preparation

»  Protein / Energy Bars

»  MREs, (Meals ready to eat) / Dehydrated Meals

»  Spoon, fork, knife / utensils

»  Small Can Opener (P38 style)

»  Metal Cooking Pot

»  Metal Cup

»  Cleaning pad

»  Portable Stove

»  Stove Fuel (solid cube or propane bottle)

»  Material for building a solar oven


Clothing & garments

»  Lightweight Long Sleeve Shirt

»  Convertible (Zip-Off) Pants

»  Underwear

»  Wool Hiking Socks

»  Medium Weight Fleece

»  Hat w/ Flex Brim

»  Working Gloves

»  Rain Poncho

»  Plastic bags designated between feet and shoes. (protection from water intrusion).

»  Water repellent spray coating

»  Goggles or protective eye wear

»  Full face ski mask or sock hat


Shelter & bedding

»  Tarp

»  Tent

»  Sleeping Bag

»  Ground Pad

»  Wool Blanket

»  Bug net


Heat source

»  Ignition Source, ...  Lighters, water proof matches, magnesium starters, magnifying materials and devices such as a mini fresnel lens etc.

»  Tinder, ... Fire logs, news papers or similar trash from wrappings, wood source and accelerant such as fire gels, plastic bag or similar material.

»  Waterproof Storage container or bag

»  Warmer packs, ... hand & feet etc.


First aid

»  First Aid Kit, Basic items for cuts and disinfection.

»  Slings and wrapping for larger areas of treatment.

»  Insect Repellent

»  Mylar Survival Blanket

»  Aspirin or alternate pain relievers

»  Medications specific or personal conditions (allergies etc.)


Hygiene related items

»  Wet Napkins

»  Hand Sanitizer or alcohol wipes

»  All-Purpose Camp Soap

»  Hygiene/Signal Mirror

»  Small Pack Towel

»  Travel Toilet Paper (Qty 2)

»  Travel Size Toothbrush & Toothpaste

»  Other Personal Hygiene Necessities


Lighting, illumination & power

»  LED Headlamp

»  Mini LED Key-chain

»  Light Glow-stick

»  Mini LED Light

»  Candles

»  Batteries, (consider rechargeable)

»  Mini solar charger



»  Cell Phone

»  Crank Power Charger

»  Emergency Radio with Hand Crank

»  Mirror

»  Noise horn or whistle for alerting others

»  Laser pointer

»  Whistle

»  Flares, (Or flare gun)


Travel aids

»  Cash

»  Coins

»  Gold / Silver Bullion

»  Local Area Map

»  Compass

»  Small Note Pad / Pencil

»  Emergency Whistle

»  Roll of colored marker ribbon.


Defensive aids

»  Pepper Spray

»  Handgun

»  Pocket cross bow

»  Plenty of ammo

»  Sling shot with barring pellets

»  Intimating knife

»  Trip line and perimeter indicators


Tools and misc equipment

»  Pocket fishing pole with a diverse selection of lours

»  Hatchet or axe

»  Knife

»  String

»  Rope

»  Folding shovel

»  Various tape, (duct, electrical, rubber etc)

»  Flares

»  Life jackets

»  Compressed air inflatable raft for rapid deployment.

»  Can of Fix-a flat or similar tire repair


The list of supplies and equipment used for survival is ever growing and is subject to our ability to carry and transport the increasing weight of it all. For this reason, ... discretion is advised when formulating a plan for evacuation which may be directly proportional to how we leave an area. Either on foot or by vehicle. The duration of time away is also a factor. The more self reliant we are, (ability to survive in the wilderness), the less we will have to carry while evacuating.




Creating a POA, (Plan of action)

 An evacuation plan should be prepared in advance if the aim is to increase the odds of success for surviving most all calamities.


In developing an effective plan of action it is important to consider those we care for as well ourselves. This encompasses not only our immediate family but those around us such as pets, friends and associates. With that in mind it may be necessary to provide assistance to those less fortunate such as for those who may be handicapped or impaired in some way. No one should be left behind if at all possible. In addition, ... our plan should include locations in which we frequently visit which extends beyond our own immediate location. A great plan of action should be applicable for the workplace, school, market and any other location which we might find ourselves to be during an event. It is often considered advantageous to rally neighbors and nearby communities so that more people are on the same page when the time come to react. This can be conducive for alleviating chaos during an event and provoke encourage an orderly evacuation. The reciprocal of such a plan can result in a disaster all on its own. Chaos only requires a catalysts to provoke panic and social disorder. Taking the initiative to discover plans set aside by local authorities is also a great place to start however, ... be advised that they may or may not have the best plan of action for every scenario or calamity. The lack of an evacuation plan and local warning systems can place family, friends and entire communities at risk for injury or death during and after such events.


The following should be considered as a part of a successful POA.

(Plan of action)

Discuss with family, friends and neighbors the various options for evacuation. Have a clear understanding as to where to reunite with others just in case a rapid evacuation is required without adequate time to make appropriate contact.

In case of a tsunami or abnormal tidal condition ensure that warning and evacuation signals are understood by all concerned. Read Understand Tsunami Notification Terms.

Have multiple and alternative evacuation routes of travel just in case roads and avenues of escape have been cut off or destroyed for other reasons such as with earthquakes and landslides. It is also important to consider that roads can quickly become congested as a result of such events. Staying ahead of the reaction from others is certainly an advantage.

Scout out a few bugout locations and shelters, ... just in case. This is a form of self reliance. Try not to depend upon government assistance as they too may be inundated beyond their own abilities to provide and offer assistance adequately.

Be advised that the potential exists for all markets and fueling stations to be non functional due to power outages and other unforeseen conditions. A plan of action might include having a few extra gallons of fuel stored with the intent to complete the evacuation plan.

A plan of action conducive for surviving a tsunami or mega tidal wave might make provisions for a few flotation devices such as life jackets and compressed air inflatable rafts for immediate deployment.

In regards to flooding, .... a reasonable plan of action might include having the ability to prevent water intrusion into the home or business by keeping sand bags and pumps in storage.

Security measures are also a huge part of a POA.(Plan of action). Be advised that there are those who make no efforts in preparing as their intent or answer for surviving is to take what we have by force. Learning defensive skills and possessing the appropriate tactics can detour or prevent such a thing from happening.





Upon notification or during an event


Tsunami & mega tidal waves


Be attentive after an earthquake event 

For those who live within a coastal region the occurrence of an earthquake should be an immediate cause for alarm prompting evasive action. Earthquakes are certainly known to cause severe tidal and wave responses dramatically effecting coastal regions nearby. If possible and time permits, ... check immediately with the department of USGS for details as to where the earthquake has occurred. If the epicenter is is located near the coast or out at sea it will be prudent to expect reactions in the water to effect shore lines.


Pay close attention to coast line water levels

If ocean waters suddenly recede exposing far more sand and rock than what is considered normal than the odds of an event is likely to occur.  This is known to be a major warning sign that a potential tsunami or abnormal tidal wave condition or event is about to occur. Expect that there is about to be a sudden surge of water inland which should prompt immediate reaction. This sort of characteristic is indicative for tsunami and mega tidal wave events.


Notice behavioral changes with animals

Watch for animals leaving the area or behaving abnormally, ... such as trying to seek human shelter or grouping together in ways they would not normally do. Animals and birds are instinctual an most often in tune with their surroundings. They are noted as having  the ability to detect changes in their environment before it happens.


Listen for community and government warnings

If local and state authorities issue a tsunami warning than it may be a good idea to implement a POA, (Plan of action). These sort of warnings don't typically happen on accident. It is better to err on the side of caution and safety.


Making the decision to evacuate 

Saving lives is of course the most important aspect of survival, ... for those with a moral compass. That being said, ... we all encounter those who could care less about others.  If a tsunami is suspected to be inbound and coming soon, ... save lives first. Tsunami survivors act quickly and typically don't bother with trying to gather useless possessions.  Let those looters go. Attempting to retrieve superficial belongings may hamper a successful escape by losing valuable time. Grab that pre-assembled survival back pack, along with family members and leave immediately.


Get to higher ground immediately 

This is a fairly simple concept to understand yet it may be a little tougher to implement during such an event. It involves getting to higher ground and as far away from the coastal region as possible. For those occasions where time is not available, ... find objects that float and hold on tight.


Without the appropriate time to evacuate

Some tsunami survival enthusiasts believe that in worst case scenarios it is advantageous to keep an array of life jackets and a compressed air raft for immediate inflation. These safety devices can make the difference between sinking below the waters or taking a frighten ride along top. Putting on a bicycle helmet or something similar can reduce head injuries from moving debris and heavy objects in the water. If evacuation is not possible and if time permits, ... climb up a building or to any other higher location. This seems like a simple task yet many who perish during such an event were spotted running in a lateral direction, ... not upward. Even strapping ourselves to a tree can be better than trying to outrun a tsunami. If this is the only option than be sure to hold on tight and take a deep breath of air. Tsunamis tend to do three things in movement. They rush in, ... settle for a moment, ... and move back out to sea. Avoid being swept back out to sea. If that cant be avoided than find a flotation device or object. Anything that floats can save a life during such an event. The concept here is to keep the head above the water level at any cost.  Be advised that these events often come with aftershocks and secondary waves. Avoid making the assumption that the event is over and safety is at hand. 



Protecting assets

This is one of those calamities where protecting our assets of value becomes important. It is advisable to purchase an insurance policy in protection of the home and personal assets just in case.


During times of hard rapid rain

It is important to be attentive to water levels and how quick they are rising. Those who have developed that inner instinct of awareness know when its time to leave an area of potential risk. This is largely dependent upon the region for concern and susceptibility for such events to occur.







CNN: How to survive a tsunami

How to Survive a Disastrous Tsunami - Documentary

Flood Survival Skills

What to Do During a Flood