Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management and Partner Agencies Urge Beachgoers and Residents to Be Tsunami-Wise

Call to action includes use of newly updated tsunami maps unveiled today

The Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management, in partnership with the South Bay Joint Information Center, urges beachgoers, visitors and residents who live near our coastal communities to practice tsunami awareness by accessing life-saving preparedness information in support of California’s Tsunami Preparedness Week – a  statewide campaign.

To kick-off the campaign locally, a Surviving a Tsunami in L.A. County information seminar was hosted today featuring discussions with several subject matter experts, including speakers from the California Geological Survey, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors and the City of Santa Monica’s Office of Emergency Services.   

All speakers reaffirmed that tsunami preparedness is rooted in one key practice – being informed of one’s location and exposure to tsunami hazard areas located along our coastline.

“Knowing your risk and having awareness of what threats can impact where you work, live or play is one of the fundamental components of being disaster-ready,” stated Kevin McGowan, Director of the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management.  “We’re grateful to the State for having updated and made available to our County new interactive Tsunami Area Hazard Area maps so that our population can access the most current information available. As a partner agency, we’re intent on helping make sure that the public is aware of these life-saving tools and know how to use them.”

The Tsunami Hazard Area maps available on the State tsunami website illustrate how a tsunami could impact our coastline using new data and modeling developed over the past 10 years, using lessons learned from the 2011 Tōhoku region event coupled with new tsunami hazard information and mapping tools. Easy-to-use interactive web applications now reflect that some areas of our coastline may have a higher tsunami hazard than what was previously represented in prior hazard maps.

Tsunamis can be catastrophic in the short and long-term, affecting millions of people over wide geographical areas up to many thousands of miles away from the source. Any member of the public can take these immediate preparedness steps to be keep themselves, their families and loved ones safe in the event of a tsunami:

  • Take a “tsunami walk” with your family, friends and loved ones; get to know your zone and  be alert when at work, home or play near the ocean.

  • Create a personal tsunami evacuation plan.  For more information on individual tsunami hazards and preparations, review the  California Tsunami Preparedness Guide which explains how you can be tsunami ready. 

  • Next time you visit a local beach area for fun, work or exercise, be on the lookout for local tsunami preparedness signage, and identify a safe evacuation area and evacuation routes to get to higher ground quickly.

  • To receive alerts and stay informed, sign up for countywide emergency alerts by visiting alert.lacounty.gov.  Many coastal communities have their own notification systems as well. To look them up, visit ready.lacounty.gov and click on the “stay informed” tab.

To view our Surviving a Tsunami in L.A. County seminar in full, visit @ReadyLACounty on Twitter or click here.