Make your own free website on Tripod.com
What to do after a tsunami
  • Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio, Coast Guard emergency frequency station, or other reliable source for emergency information. The tsunami may have damaged roads, bridges, or other places that may be unsafe.
  • Help injured or trapped persons. Give first aid where appropriate. Call for help. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury.
  • Help a neighbor who may require special assistance--infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities. Elderly people and people with disabilities may require additional assistance. People who care for them or who have large families may need additional assistance in emergency situations.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls. Telephone lines are frequently overwhelmed in disaster situations. They need to be clear for emergency calls to get through.
  • Stay out of the building if waters remain around it. Tsunami waters, like flood waters, can undermine foundations, causing buildings to sink, floors to crack, or walls to collapse.
  • When re-entering buildings or homes, use extreme caution. Tsunami-driven flood waters may have damaged buildings where you least expect it. Carefully watch every step you take.
    • Wear sturdy shoes. The most common injury following a disaster is cut feet.
    • Use battery-powered lanterns or flashlights when examining buildings. Battery-powered lighting is the safest and easiest, preventing fire hazard for the user, occupants, and building.
    • Examine walls, floors, doors, staircases, and windows to make sure that the building is not in danger of collapsing.
    • Inspect foundations for cracks or other damage. Cracks and damage to a foundation can render a building uninhabitable.
    • Look for fire hazards. There may be broken or leaking gas lines, flooded electrical circuits, or submerged furnaces or electrical appliances. Flammable or explosive materials may come from upstream. Fire is the most frequent hazard following floods.
    • Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas using the outside main valve if you can, and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
    • Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell burning insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice. Electrical equipment should be checked and dried before being returned to service.
    • Check for sewage and water line damage. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water from undamaged water heaters or by melting ice cubes.
    • Use tap water if local health officials advise it is safe.
    • Watch out for animals, especially poisonous snakes, that may have come into buildings with the water. Use a stick to poke through debris. Tsunami flood waters flush snakes and animals out of their homes.
    • Watch for loose plaster, drywall, and ceilings that could fall.
    • Take pictures of the damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance claims.
  • Open the windows and doors to help dry the building.
  • Shovel mud while it is still moist to give walls and floors an opportunity to dry.
  • Check food supplies. Any food that has come in contact with flood waters may be contaminated and should be thrown out.