This advice was collated with the help of Kirk Willcox from Surf Aid International, a non-profit organization, and partner in the World Nomads Footprints Program, which has had tremendous experience with tsunami-affected areas.
If you are travelling to areas that are known to be tsunami hotspots, it's vital to be prepared.
Inside your travel pack, make sure you keep an emergency kit in case you need to make a dash in the middle of the night.
Stock food, water, climate-appropriate clothing, and if possible a small first aid kit – keep it packed with enough essentials for a few days.
However, try your best to keep it light so you can pick it up and scamper in an instant. You might need it if you have to.
Kirk said this is literally the best advice he can give in regard to tsunami safety.
If the feeling is that a tsunami is about to hit your area, it's better to be safe than sorry (or submerged).
The three vital signs you can use to detect an impending tsunami are;
A) You feel shakes and tremors underfoot.
B) The water begins to recede.
C) If you hear a loud roar from the ocean.
Also, obviously, be alert to any warnings made by local authorities.
Tsunamis can strike very, very quickly following an earthquake – so the quicker, and higher, you can get up a hill the better.
And if you have a lighter emergency pack, you will travel faster – you don't want to be lumbered by an enormous suitcase!
Tsunamis tend not to strike once, there are usually several cycles of a tsunami that are spaced out over time – and some can last up to a few days.
If you go down prematurely, you could get caught up in a second or third wave.
This is why it's important to keep high and dry for a sustained period.
But when making your assessment of when to go back down, it's also very, very important to...
It has been reported that the death toll for the 2004 Sumatra tsunami was in part caused by a defective tsunami warning system – people simply weren't prepared for the onslaught.
In recent years, developing nations plagued by tsunamis have suffered from the effects of vandals and thieves tampering with and destroying systems put in place to alert authorities about an impending tsunami.
Kirk says that in some cases, authorities have delivered radio broadcasts giving an all clear for people to descend from the hill, only to be trumped by a second, third or fourth wave.
Again, the mantra here is to be extremely cautious when making a decision to descend - listen closely to alerts, but be careful with 'all-clears'.
It's vital to know not only the tsunami history of the area you are travelling to, but also the topography.
Villages established at low sea level will get hammered by a tsunami, where as villages settled in deeper water areas are not as affected.
This information can be vital to your action plan if a tsunami rears its ugly head.
It's important to make an attempt, even across language barriers, to talk to locals of the area you are staying in, about what systems and infrastructure is put in place to deal with a tsunami.
Every area is different, so they will range from ‘very little' to ‘comprehensive'. Arm yourself with the best information you can – your investigations could very well save your life!
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