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April is Tsunami Awareness Month

March 23, 2018, 9:04 AM HST (Updated March 23, 2018, 9:04 AM)
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April is Tsunami Awareness Month. Hawai‘i residents and visitors should be aware of the dangers a tsunami can present to low-lying island areas.

While some tsunamis are caused by earthquakes hundreds of miles away and give ample warning, a temblor near the Hawaiian Islands could provide only minutes to respond.

The American Red Cross has these tips on preparing for, and dealing with the aftermath of, a tsunami:

· Determine if your home, workplace and your children’s school are in tsunami hazard areas

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· Know how high your home is above sea level and how close you are to the coastline, as evacuation orders may be determined by these figures

· Plan your evacuation route from work, school and other frequented locations; emergency planners recommend going inland for at least two miles, and getting higher than 100 feet above sea level

· In the aftermath of a tsunami, use NOAA radio or tune to local radio and television stations for the latest updates on the tsunami

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· Do not return to low-lying areas until given the all-clear—sometimes a tsunami can go on for a significant time, with waves of various sizes hitting the shoreline in succession

“While tsunamis are rare, Hawai‘i has unfortunately been affected by this disaster multiple times and we want the public to take steps to ensure they stay safe should another tsunami strike the islands,” said DTRIC Vice President and Chief Claims Officer Mike Mishima. “Being prepared before a tsunami or other natural disaster will not only save you time, but it will also save you from unnecessary stress in an already stressful situation.”

Hawai‘i’s location in the center of the Pacific Ring of Fire, with frequent geologic upheavals along the coasts of Asia and North South America, makes it particularly vulnerable to tsunamis.

The state marks Tsunami Awareness Month each April to encourage residents to be aware of the dangers presented by tsunamis and develop preparedness plans.

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