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April is Tsunami Awareness Month

Hilo Bayfront damage following the 1960 Chilean tsunami, U.S. Navy Photo
DEM kicks off “Tsunami Ready Now” for Statewide Tsunami Awareness Month

The Department of Emergency Management kicks off “Tsunami Ready Now” for Statewide Tsunami Awareness Month this April in conjunction with Monthly Siren Test

A tsunami can happen at any time and with limited warning. It can put you in immediate danger, and cut you off from family and friends. It may happen so fast that you won’t have time to seek out information. Understanding tsunamis and your role in case of emergency is critical to your safety – and more important than ever with the added risk of COVID-19 this year.

The Department of Emergency Management (DEM), the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) and the UNESCO/IOC-NOAA International Tsunami Information Center (ITIC) are encouraging the public to take tsunami preparedness into their own hands this April during Tsunami Awareness Month. 

“Today is the 75th anniversary of the M8.6 April 1, 1946 Aleutian Island earthquake and tsunami.  The tsunami took just 4-hours to impact Hawaii killing 158, including six-fatalities on Oahu, and led to the establishment of the US Tsunami Warning System in 1949,” said Dr. Laura Kong, director, International Tsunami Information Center.  “The tsunami threat to Hawai’i is real as history has shown us in 1946 and then again in 1960.”

DEM will launch a month-long social media campaign to help our residents be better prepared. The campaign will include weekly actions that will help keep you and your loved ones safe in case of a tsunami.

“Tsunami Awareness Month each April serves as a reminder for all of us that we need to be prepared at all times for the destructive and deadly effects of tsunamis here in Hawaii,” said Hiro Toiya, director for the Department of Emergency Management.  “The Tsunami Watch this past March 4th, highlights the importance of being tsunami ready at all times. Our campaign this April will provide critical information on being prepared, understanding the tsunami alert and warning terminology and most importantly knowing how to safely and quickly evacuate from tsunami evacuation zones.”

Each week of Tsunami Awareness Month, the DEM Tsunami Ready Now Campaign will emphasize a unique aspect of tsunami preparedness:

•Week One: KNOW the Tsunami Alert and Warning terminology
•Week Two: FIND your home, school or business on the Tsunami Evacuation Map
•Week Three: PLAN to safely evacuate when a Tsunami Warning is issued
•Week Four: WORK with family and friends to plan and prepare for a tsunami event

Monthly Siren and Emergency Alert System Test

Thursday, April 1st is also the monthly test of the all-hazard Statewide Outdoor Warning Siren System which is scheduled to occur at 11:45 a.m.

Remember, the all-hazard Outdoor Siren Warning System is just one part of Hawai'i’s Statewide Alert & Warning System used to notify the public during emergencies. DEM highly encourages everyone to have multiple methods of receiving emergency information. Those methods include monitoring local radio and television station broadcasts, subscribing to official social media channels as well as the Cities free 
HNL.Info alerts, having a battery or hand-crank AM/FM radio or better yet, a NOAA Weather Alert Radio, and ensuring that your cellular phone is enabled to receive Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) messages.

For more information on staying informed see this link

Follow DEM 

Follow HI-EMA

Follow ITIC

Source: City and County of Honolulu News Release

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