This weekend would be a good time for those living in low lying areas (near the beach or up rivers/estuaries) to figure out what to throw in the car, SUV, R/V, etc – critical medicines, food, water, portable battery operated NOAA alert radio, warm clothing, etc.
Here’s the official disaster warning categories and what they mean when issued by federal or state disaster preparedness authorities:
One of the lessons we’re learning is that in areas of the world like ours, telephone notification trees, although very efficient, are sometimes not nearly as fast to get the word out as NOAA radio beacons all over the country. Inexpensive NOAA beacon radios can be purchased on line at hundreds of outlets. And they’re pretty cheap. Every family should have one plugged into the wall, with battery backup, so if the power goes off the batteries will continue to run the radio for days. Of course, have extra batteries handy.
In cases when our own Cascadia earthquake subduction zone snaps, we all know it immediately – and when the shaking stops, we do what we have to do to cope with the mess it left behind. But in the case of a distant tsunami, like from Alaska, we’ve got 3 to 4 hours to get ready for a series of tsunamis that may be weak or strong. About triple that time if it comes from Japan or northeast Russia.
So immediate, if not instant, notification is a big plus. NOAA disaster radios will keep you in touch with what’s going on. Back east it’s tornadoes and hurricanes. Here on the west coast it’s tsunamis. We just have to deal with it. Getting the word early and often, plus preparing in advance, is the only rational way to deal with it. We all just need to do the right thing by being prepared.