Letter: Prepare for possible tsunami



The idea of a tsunami escape pod has appeared in the news lately. Recently, a Jan. 1 Columbian story reported “Camas trio’s escape pod offers refuge from peril.” As the geologic hazards outreach specialist for the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, I would like to inform readers that you can prepare for and survive a tsunami just by knowing a few basics.

At the coast, if you feel an earthquake, a tsunami may follow within 15 to 20 minutes. Drop, cover, and hold on during shaking. Then move quickly inland to high ground, away from beaches and rivers. The first tsunami surge may not be the biggest, and deadly waves can continue for several hours.

Learn your tsunami evacuation route and practice it on foot, since many bridges will fail. Get your tsunami map at Oregon Tsunami Clearinghouse and try the smartphone app, TsunamiEvac-NW, for iPhone and Android.

Everyone at the coast should know what to do in a local Cascadia earthquake and tsunami — even without an escape pod.

Peter Ovington