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Tsunami Preparedness Week encourages awareness and preparation

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Posted at 6:07 PM, Mar 30, 2023

This week emergency services offices across the state are raising awareness about tsunamis and how to prepare for them.

Tsunamis are typically formed when an undersea earthquake forms a tidal surge that can be devastating to coastlines thousands of miles away. Tsunamis can happen along any large body of water but are most common in the pacific.

Due to this added risk, local emergency management offices are taking extra precautions.

"Typically, we will receive a tsunami warning if there is an undersea earthquake and then there is a series of buoys called the dart system that will detect a potential tsunami and we will receive either a tsunami advisory, tsunami watch, or tsunami warning," Scott Milner, SLO County Emergency Services coordinator told KSBY. "This year we actually installed tsunami zone warning signs along the coasts so residents should see those signs and be able to know if they are entering or leaving a tsunami hazard zone."

Although advanced warning systems can give hours of preparation time ahead of a tsunami if one is detected it is important to take action quickly.

"Be aware of your surroundings and get to a higher area if you are at the beach and then also keep a cell phone with you while at the beach," Milner said. "Along our coast from Oceano to Cayucos we have early warning system sirens so if the sirens sound you need to turn to TV, radio, or cell phone for additional information."

To look up your address and for more information, you can visit prepareslo.org.