Tsunami Preparedness

Tsunami Sirens are located along the coastal communities in the South Beach area. They are used to broadcast emergency tsunami information…to warn community members of impending danger. Monthly siren tests are also broadcasted. Preparation and preparedness for disasters such as tsunamis is an essential part of living and visiting coastal areas.


According to Washington State Department of Natural Resources…

A tsunami is a series of waves most commonly caused by an earthquake. As tsunamis enter shallow water near land, they increase in height and can cause great loss of life and property damage where they come ashore. They can occur at any time of the day or night, under any and all-weather conditions, and in all seasons. Beaches open to the ocean, bay entrances, tidal flats, and coastal rivers are especially vulnerable to tsunamis.

When a tsunami has been generated by a distant earthquake, it will not reach the Washington coast for several hours, and there is time to issue a warning. When a tsunami is generated by a strong offshore earthquake, its first waves would reach the outer coast minutes after the ground stops shaking. Feeling an earthquake could be your only warning! If you feel the ground shake, evacuate inland or to higher ground immediately! The first wave is often not the largest; successive waves may be spaced many minutes apart and continue to arrive for several hours. Return only after emergency officials say it is safe. Isolated areas may not receive official warnings of tsunamis. If you notice a sudden drop or rise in sea level, move to high ground or inland immediately.

Ocosta Elementary School in rural Westport is a designated assembly area. As are the Ocosta Community Center, Ocosta and the high ground at the end of Turkey Road, Grayland.

What to do to Protect yourself from a tsunami

  • Develop a family disaster plan. Everyone needs to know what to do on their own to protect themselves in case of disaster.
  • Be familiar with local earthquake and tsunami plans. Know where to go to survive a tsunami. Identify an evacuation site within 15 minutes walking distance of home and/or work.
  • Prepare 3-day emergency kits for your home, automobile, and work.

When you feel an earthquake

  • Protect yourself – drop, cover, hold until the earthquake is over
  • Grab your three-day emergency kit
  • Move quickly inland to high ground and away from low-lying coastal areas.
  • Evacuate on foot if at all possible because of potential road damage and traffic jams
  • Do not wait for an official warning
  • Do not pack or delay
  • Do not return to the shore
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or your local radio for information on shelter locations and emergency broadcasts
  • Be alert for aftershocks


Astoria 162.40 MHz

Olympia 162.475 MHz

Mount Octopus 162.425 MHz


You should prepare an emergency kit with a three-day supply of necessary items for each member of the family. The kit should be adapted to your needs, but keep it light and manageable in case you must evacuate on foot. Have it ready to go for immediate evacuation. Possible supplies include:

  • Maps showing safe routes to high ground
  • Non-perishable food and cooking and eating utensils, including a can opener
  •  Water and a water purification kit
  • First aid kit and prescriptions
  • Plastic bags for water storage and waste
  • Dental and personal hygiene items
  • Sturdy shoes, clothes, sleeping bags, tent
  • Portable radio, headlamp/flashlight, and extra batteries
  • Pocket knife, whistle, matches, duct tape, and rubber, latex, and heavy-duty gloves


Tsunami evacuation routes were developed to guide the coastal community members and visitors to safer locations when car evacuation is possible. Evacuation signs have been placed along the main roads to direct motorists to higher ground. In some places, there may be more than one way to reach safer areas. These routes are marked with multiple signs showing additional options for evacuation. You will need to know the evacuation routes for your area.

For more information, please visit www.co.grays-harbor/.wa.us/departments/emergency_management/index.php