What to Do During a Tsunami – Get to Higher Ground!

What to Do During a Tsunami

If the tsunami warning horn is going off or there is news that a tsunami is imminent in your area, follow the evacuation orders authorities make and evacuate immediately! DO NOT go to the beach to “watch” the tsunami as it will hit hard and fast so you won’t be able to escape.

Remember that if you see a sudden rise or fall of the ocean in a short period of time, it’s usually an indicator of a tsunami so get away!

Stay Away From the Beach!


As stupid as it sounds, there are several cases where thrill seekers “think” they’re safe and head to near the beach watching it from a beachfront building. Some people even think they’ll be rich or they’re “cool” if they get a video of the tsunami. Unfortunately in most cases, when they finally panic and realize they should evacuate, it’s already too late. Remember that tsunamis can be as high as 100 feet (30 m) like the one that devastated Indonesia in 2004.. Can you imagine 100 feet? It’s about 10 stories! There’s no way you’ll be able to escape that if you’re near the beach.

So what should you do during a tsunami?

Head to Higher Ground

Higher Ground

The higher you are the better chance you have of the tsunami not reaching you. You should try and get at least 33 feet (10 m) high if possible but much better if you can get to an area that is 100 feet above sea level.

Move Inland

If you are unable to get to higher ground or there is nothing that is high, move as far inland as possible. Try to go as far as 2 miles (3 km) if possible. If you can’t, just aim to go as fast and as far as possible. Even a few feet can make a big difference.

Take Only Essential Items

Earthquake Kit

Every second counts, so only take essential items like identification, important documents, and medical needs. You don’t want to be wasting time packing clothes, shoes, toys or other items that can be easily replaced. Your life is more important! You should already have an emergency kit in your home and a bag of essentials just for this occasion and other disasters.

This is Your Life!

This is your life we’re talking about and also the lives of your friends and families. Please understand the simple steps above and follow them. Don’t risk your life over stupidity or lack of preparation. The best way you can survive a tsunami is to know what you should do. Don’t underestimate the speed and force of a tsunami.



  1. DJolly

    The video on your site is intense! You definitely have a lot of information about tsunamis here which makes me grateful that I don’t live in a tsunami zone but I feel sympathy for those who do! From the video it looks like they have to start over from scratch after all the water comes thru.

    1. Andy (Post author)

      Yeah, it was a disaster. Even now people are feeling the effects of it 5 years later with the nuclear power plant issue, radiation, and debris still washing up on the west coast shore of North America. Pretty crazy how powerful it is.

  2. donald

    Hopefully none of us will ever experience a Tsunami. But if there is an earthquake at all, then I would assume that is the first moment you should be aware of possible danger. But thanks for the info and I hope I will never have to use it, but it might save my life

    1. Andy (Post author)

      No problem! Just trying to help keep everyone aware and prepared just in case. Never know when the knowledge will come in handy. You might need it when traveling overseas.

  3. Barry


    I used to live in South Beach, Fla. and whenever there were warning about hurricanes or storms some people would get beer and head to the beach. Unbelievable.

    You seem to know a lot about the subject. Have you ever been personally involved in a tsunami?

    Man thinks they rule the world. We build, progress and stick our chest out saying we are the kings. Then in a split second the power of nature takes everything away in seconds that man has built over years.

    We need some respect don’t you think?

    1. Andy (Post author)

      Wow! That’s just crazy. NEVER head to the beach during a hurricane or tsunami.

      I have not been in a tsunami but I have been in a minor earthquake before when I was living in Japan. Even though it wasn’t a big one it was pretty scary for me as it was the first time experiencing one. Everything started shaking and I didn’t know what to do.

      Nature is truly the queen. You cannot compete against it and it just takes over in a split second. That’s why I’m hoping to bring awareness and educate others in case of disaster.

  4. Rose

    Your information may save a life. Very pertinent and well done. It only takes one tsunami to end a life.

    Very nice site and I like your photos.

    1. Andy (Post author)

      Thanks Rose!
      Hopefully I’ve provided information that will help keep everyone save in the event of a tsunami.

  5. Matt

    Great article Andy. As a person who has never been in a tsunami(and hopefully never will) I found this to be quite useful. The video you showed was extremely scary as well, really makes me grateful I don’t live near tsunami zones.

    1. Andy (Post author)

      Thanks Matt!
      Yeah, the video is a real eye-opener. The destruction it caused is unbelievable.
      Even though you don’t live in a tsunami zone, you never know whether you’ll ever be traveling or vacationing to one so it’s always good to know what to do just in case.

  6. Karen

    Good site and badly needed. Most people do not take disaster preparedness seriously nor do they respond quickly when they are warned of imminent danger. Lives can be saved with simple preparation. So thank you for this. I have spent much of my career in disaster relief and it strikes with little or no warning and can happen to anyone. anyone. So please keep up the good work.

    1. Andy (Post author)

      Thank you Karen! It’s great coming from someone who experienced first hand and knows just how much damage a disaster makes.


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