Visitor Information Contact Us Site Map
Pacific Tsunami Museum header
Survive a Tsunami --Take it Seriously
Unlike hurricanes or tornadoes, tsunamis have no season.  Tsunamis can strike anywhere along the coast, any time of day, any season of the year.  They are not heralded by a drastic change in the weather.  It could be a gorgeous sunny day or a starlit night.
Tsunamis have nothing to do with tides or storms.  They are generated by violent water displacement on the ocean floor.  There could be an underwater landslide, a major earthquake, or a freak cosmic strike from space.
Even if you know a lot about tsunamis and read tsunami scientific data, unless you take those statistics seriously, when that next tsunami wave train arrives on the horizon, you could become another one of those statistics.
There is definitely another tsunami out there.  When is it coming?  It is inevitable and we are long overdue.  George Curtis, tsunami scientist at UH-Hilo, says, "Any time now!"
Have you designed an evacuation plan from work, from home, from your children’s school?  Talk to your local Police or Civil Defense agency.   Find out what roads will be closed when there is a tsunami alert.  How long will you be given to evacuate?  What about your car?  Your boat?  Your pets?  Your livestock?  How do you protect your home or business from vandals?   Find out now.
Perhaps your church group, Civic Club or Neighborhood Watch can create a tsunami alert plan together.  You could organize a group telephone tree or regularly check on homebound neighbors or anyone else who might need special assistance.
Don't ignore the safety precautions just because you live or work outside the inundation zone.  As Harry Yamamoto said in a recent interview, "You're in the safe zone but just across the street from the inundation zone.  The water doesn't see a stop sign when it's coming.  It's going to go until it expends its energy and then it's going to stop."
"Visitors should be told about this," says Martha McNicoll, who was working at the Naniloa Hotel in 1960 the night the tsunami hit Hilo.  "You can not underestimate the power of water."  After the tour buses had evacuated hotel guests, staff members rechecked every room and found ten people who had stayed behind to take pictures.  "A tsunami is not anything people should take lightly.   People should be safe not sorry."
Tsunami alerts are inconvenient and can be annoying.  You must take these alerts seriously and follow the instructions of the Civil Defense announcements.   Please prepare and pay attention.  Together we can survive the next tsunami.
Let us not forget.

All materials © Copyright 1996-2007 Pacific Tsunami Museum Inc.
130 Kamehameha Ave Hilo, HI 96720 tel: 808-935-0926 FAX: 808-935-0842 email:
Last Revised November 2007