JBPHH brings attention to Tsunami Awareness Month with trot

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman
  • 15th Wing Public Affairs

Seventy-two years after a devastating tsunami struck Hawaii, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is teaming up with agencies from all around Hawaii to promote Tsunami Awareness month.

On April 1, 1946, an earthquake near the Aleutian Islands caused a tsunami that struck Big Island and claimed 159 lives. Since the 1990s, Hawaii has dedicated the month of April to promoting tsunami safety and awareness.

This year, the Joint Base Office of Emergency Management promoted tsunami safety by hosting the Tsunami Trot on April 2.

“The Tsunami Trot is a mile long to represent the distance needed to evacuate from the water’s edge to safety,” said Tech. Sgt. James Lawrence, Joint Base Emergency Management Office.


The run started near the Aloha Aina Park and ended near the Hickam Gym. Participants were also encouraged to visit tsunami and disaster booths for more information on disaster preparedness planning.


If there's a tsunami warning in Hawaii, the following tips can help you stay safe.


1.  If you are near the ocean and you feel the earth shake, move immediately to higher ground.  DO NOT wait for a tsunami warning to be issued.  Also, stay away from rivers and streams that lead to the ocean.  A tsunami from a local earthquake could strike before a tsunami warning can be issued. Tsunamis generated from distant locations can take 4 or more hours to strike the island.


2.  When the sirens go off, immediately turn on your radio, TV, or NOAA Weather Radio for additional information.


3.  If you are in school during a tsunami warning, follow the advice of teachers and other school personnel.


4.  If you are at home, make sure your family is aware of the warning.  Your family should evacuate only if in a tsunami evacuation zone.  Move in a calm and safe manner to a pre-planned evacuation site or to a safe place outside the evacuation zone.


5.  Tall, multi-story, reinforced concrete buildings are located in many low-lying coastal areas.  The upper floors can provide a safe refuge if you cannot move quickly inland to higher ground.  Homes and small buildings are not designed to withstand tsunami impacts.


6.  After a tsunami, wait for Hawaii Emergency Management Agency to issue an “all-clear” before returning to evacuation zones.


7.  To find if your home or workplace is in an evacuation zone, look at the phone book or use the tsunami evacuation map tool at http://ptwc.weather.gov/ptwc/hawaii.php.