Disaster Zone

Tsunami Footage — Mandatory Watching

This will happen somewhere in the future on the coasts of the United States.

by Eric Holdeman / August 16, 2017

If I were a local emergency manager with a jurisdiction along the ocean, I'd hold some public meetings and show this video of the Japan 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and the resulting tsunami that took tens of thousands of lives and the cost of which was in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

Another population I think should see it are legislators with responsibilities for states with coastal communities. I'd just have it running in a loop in the snack bar and in a meeting room. I'd send a copy to all my personal legislators and ask them to spend less than an hour watching the video.

Here are some lessons to be learned — if anyone cares to learn anything:

  • There can be multiple tsunami waves and the first one may not be the largest
  • High ground is your best protection from losing your life
  • Don't wait to evacuate and move to high ground
  • A tsunami can extend inland up a river
  • Fires will follow any tsunami in an industrial or urban area
  • Even when warned, people may not choose to evacuate
  • If you are on a ship, you have to get out to sea quickly. It is only in the open ocean that you are safer
  • To be effective, a tsunami warning system must first be built!
  • We will invest in a national tsunami warning system — only after we face the destruction of one here on our coasts.

In the course of watching this video you are likely seeing hundreds if not thousands of people lose their lives. The 16,000 person death toll makes the 9/11 disaster pale in comparison. 

Yet, many coastal states and communities do nothing. They demand nothing of their state legislators and there is a lack of initiative on the part of legislators at all levels of government. What, if anything, are ports doing themselves to become better prepared for this disaster?

I expect that following our United States tsunami, there will be people who say, "I never knew." Let more people view this video and tell them it is possible here in North America.