Prepare Yourself For A Tsunami


Tsunamis were largely unknown to the wider public before the hugely destructive 2004 tsunami known as the Boxing Day Tsunami. This killed almost 228,000 people and was one of the worst natural disasters in modern times. This occurred in the Indian Ocean just off the coast of Indonesia and started as an earthquake in the ocean and caused a tsunami. In fact the earthquake itself indirectly did not kill anybody as it was the tsunami that caused widespread devastation and death among many countries in the Indian Ocean region.


So if the earthquake didn’t kill anybody directly and the tsunami did then just what is a tsunami, what causes them and where on earth (literally) can and do they occur?


Tsu means harbour and Nami means wave in Japanese and because most of these devastating creepers turn up around the area of Japan so it’s a Japanese name.  Tsunamis are huge waves or rapid rises in the level of the sea or ocean. They’re fairly rare events which is why most people hadn’t really heard of them in the late 20th century unless you were a fan of the UK music act the Manic Street Preachers who educated the British public with their hit song ‘Tsunami’ in the 1990s. However Tsunamis occur on average about two to three times a year somewhere in the world.


Tsunamis travel at speeds of up to 700 kilometres an hour in the open ocean and rise to heights of several hundred feet as they come ashore. They can cause widespread devastation in coastal areas especially in the aftermath of a large earthquake. These undersea earthquakes that trigger most tsunamis are relatively common off Japan’s coasts, so it is these areas that are especially vulnerable to these coastal disasters. Around 82 per cent of tsunamis occur in the Pacific Ocean, caused by earthquakes along the edges of the undersea tectonic plates known as the Pacific Ring of Fire. Johnny Cash where are you when we need you?


A tsunami is not one wave but a series of waves. Often the initial wave is not the largest. In fact, the largest wave may not occur for several hours. There may also be more than one series of tsunami waves if a very large earthquake triggers local landslides which in turn trigger additional tsunamis. Tsunamis are often most destructive in bays and harbors, not just because of the waves but because of the violent currents they generate in local waterways. Tsunamis are least destructive in deep, open ocean waters.


Over the realms of time, tsunamis were sometimes called “tidal waves.” But that name fell out of favor because the tsunami waves have nothing to do with ocean tides. Tidal waves are actually regular ocean waves, and are caused by the tides. These waves are caused by the interaction of the pull of the moon’s gravity on the earth. So although a “tidal wave” was a term used in common folklore to mean the same thing as a tsunami, it is not the same thing. So to clarify the main cause of tsunamis are earthquakes that trigger sharp movements of the seafloor. In some cases landslides can also cause tsunamis. As the energy of an earthquake on the seafloor is transferred to the water above, it causes gigantic waves to form. The famous 2011 tsunami was caused by an undersea earthquake off Japan’s eastern shoreline. The quake triggered waves of almost 135 feet along parts of the coast, causing more than 15,000 deaths and damaging the Fukushima nuclear plant. Some quakes cause tsunamis that spread out in all directions. Others tsunamis propagate in a particular direction, depending on how the seafloor was disturbed. Tsunamis strike coastal areas within minutes or hours, depending on how far an undersea earthquake is from shore.


When tsunamis move from relatively deep water into shallow coastal water, they’re sometimes amplified by the shape of the seafloor and land features in the area. As a result, a wave that is relatively small in the open ocean can grow tremendously in size and destructive power when it hits land.


So in our ongoing prepping series, make sure you are ready just in case there is an impending tsunami. Ensure you are as well prepared as you can possibly be in the event that you might get caught out.


As we always stipulate use your common sense and keep a hold of our checklist. Here are a number of essentials in case of a tsunami.


Checklist -With various options.


Mobile Phone Alerts. Well this is an easy and free way to be prepared for a tsunami. Various national weather services around the world now offer the ability for you to subscribe for free to mobile phone alerts in the case of an impending disaster. So what are you waiting for? Check out where you are and spend ten minutes looking for a service that will give you a chance to get out of a potential tsunami zone.


In addition services such as Facebook and T witter also offer alert services and sites.


Emergency Radios. With an emergency weather radios you can listen to the news, get weather reports or tsunami reports from NOAA or other weather services. Blimey, you can even charge your phone. These feature portable hand-crank radios, solar-powered and multi-powered devices – so you can choose the right emergency radio for any situation. They are portable, look good and most of all they could save your life.


Here are a couple to wet your appetite.


The FRX3 Rechargeable Hand Crank AM/FM/NOAA Weather ALERT Radio. This fella isn’t expensive, is rechargeable, looks rather natty and will keep you totally in the mix with what is going on in the world. It is available from the Red Cross so it must be good and you can nab it for a paltry 60 US Dollars via their website


You will also find that the Midland ER 310 has some pretty rave reviews everywhere we looked and it is another choice that we recommend you have a look at. It appears to be one of the best emergency weather radio because it offers decent reception, a good flashlight, and more effective charging options than many other models including the ability to charge from dead through solar power or hand-cranking. More important, it can receive NOAA extreme weather alerts, providing notifications that are both loud and readily visible so you won’t miss any warnings. The ER310’s convenient size makes it comfortable to carry, so it’s easier to grab on the go in the case of any imminent danger. It was also one of the few radios that live up to their crank generating claims: ‘We found that just one minute of cranking produced 10 minutes of radio time or a few minutes of flashlight use’. It will set you back 70 US Dollars from Lowes but Multiple Power Sources. Solar, hand crank, rechargeable battery and a Bright Cree LED flashlight (1400 Lux).


Flashlight. As well as the usual First Aid Kits, medications and multi purpose tools aka a good old penknife or Swiss army knife, what about a torch otherwise labelled as a flashlight depending on where you originate from. A personal story but one I must share with you is that on a survival and orienteering weekend when I was but a teenager as a scout in England saw me with a torch that doubled as a compass and knife. It was a clever little tool that fitted into the pocket quite nicely that cost me only a small fee from the Milletts Store Chain. My friend Derek was totally into the survival scenario while I loved the orienteering part. In contrast he bought the most expensive and brand new flashiest (excuse the pun) of flashlights and it looked cool but was huge so rather impractical and took the largest of batteries. The only problem was he forgot to buy batteries or rather he purchased batteries and the best available on the market at the time which were Duracell. If he had bought the correct size for the flashlight that would have been great but he purchased the smaller incorrect size that didn’t fit the flashlight. He went around the whole weekend with 16 heavy batteries he couldn’t use and a beautiful weighty flashlight that was unusable. The moral to this story is ‘please check your battery sizes and don’t be a Derek!’. So trawling through a few sites here are a few flashlights to ponder the size of batteries.


The provide a flashlight that wouldn’t look out of place in a Stars Wars film. The Nitecore MT21C LED-Taschenlampe 90 Grad schwenkbar inklusive Magnet am Lampenschaft is a bit of a beaut and a bit of a mouthful too! The flashlight is characterized by its lamp head that can be swiveled through 90 ° and the various possible uses associated with it. It costs €65.89.


The newly installed CREE XP-L HD V6 LED has a maximum output of 1000 lumens. The MT21C is operated using the front switch on the lamp head. The battery or rechargeable battery cover is magnetic, which increases the range of applications. Performance and runtime with 1 piece of 18650 Li-Ion battery 3400mAh. Turbo (1000 lumens) for approx. 1 hour. High (400 lumens) for about 3 hours 45 minutes. Mid (190 lumens) for about 7 hours 30 minutes

Low (50 lumens) for about 25 hours. Ultra-low (1 lumen) for approx. 700 hours

Strobe, Beacon, SOS. Scope of delivery: Nitecore MT21C, clip, replacement sealing ring, holster, lanyard, 2 x CR123A lithium batteries. Technical specifications are Length: approx. 131 mm, Diameter: approx. 25.4 mm, Weight without batteries: approx. 103.5 g, Light source: CREE XP-L HD V6, Lighting range: approx. 184 m, Batteries: 2 x CR123A lithium batteries or 2 x RCR123 or 1 x 18650 Li-Ion battery, Overheating protection, Housing made of aviation aluminum HAIII anodized, Mineral glass lens, reverse polarity protection, waterproof to IPX-8, magnetic end cap.


An alternative would be the SureFire Fury-DFT Tactical, which is a tactical flashlight. DFT stands for Dual Fuel Tactical. This means that the lamp can be operated with either one 18650 battery or two CR123A batteries. This can be useful when your 18650 battery is empty and you cannot charge it at the moment. With two CR123A batteries you are initially supplied again for 2.5 hours. It reigns in at €219.00 and can be obtained through


The SureFire Fury-DFT Tactical is activated by pressing the tactical button at the end of the lamp. If you only press briefly, the light beam is only activated briefly. When you press the switch all the way in, constant mode is activated. You can easily find the switch even in stressful situations or when wearing gloves.

A third option in relation to the humble torch is the Fenix PD36R rechargeable flashlight is a high-performance flashlight unlike anything else on the market for its size. This LED rechargeable flashlight delivers a maximum 1600 lumens to an impressive distance of 928ft (283m), all on a high capacity 21700 li-ion battery. The Fenix PD36R is our first introduction of a product with a 21700 li-ion battery, extending battery runtimes by twice the standard li-ion battery. The high-capacity 5000 mAh battery can be conveniently charged through the USB-C port on the flashlight. Fenixlighting advertise this for $99.95.  Additionally, you will always be able to see the battery’s charge status at a glance with the external battery level indicator.


Operating this powerful LED rechargeable flashlight is simple with the tactical tail switch for momentary on/off, and the ability to cycle through six lighting modes using the side switch including a 1600 lumen turbo mode. Carry the Fenix PD36R how you want: on a backpack, belt, or MOLLE system with the two-way body clip. The amount of power and runtime packed into this flashlight are unmatched for its handheld size. IP68 rated dust proof and waterproof, this flashlight is the perfect all-purpose lighting tool for those needing maximum brightness and long runtimes.


Food and Water. Ensure you have at least 4 days worth of food and water available to you until the emergencies locate you or you locate them.

A Tent. 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 get to lower ground prematurely, you could get caught up in a second or third tsunami wave. This is why it’s important to keep high and dry for a sustained period and so a tent is an extremely important item that should be on your itinerary.


So what is out there?


For starters Crua Culla offer up a 2 Person Insulated Inner Cocoon Tent $ 379.00 USD.  Temperature, noise, & light insulated. That all sounds great but what grabbed me as someone who struggles to occasionally put up an umbrella is the fact it has Air frame beams – which means a 60 second set up which i’ll take their word for. Comfort is Guaranteed they say too. An ‘insulated inner cocoon tent’, ah it even sounds romantic in a scene of devastation.


If it’s a one man survival tent you are after then offer the GEERTOP Ultralight, compact Bivy II tent for 1 person, waterproof, for backpacking, camping, military etc and quick and easy to set up.


Ultra light and portable. The tent weighs only 1.25 kg and measures 47 x 12 x 12 cm when packed. This makes it perfect to go in a backpack. Fast and easy to set up. The frame system with a 3-part lightweight, strong, aluminium pole system allows the tent to be set up and taken down in just a few minutes. Waterproof and ventilated: Completely waterproof PU5000MM polyester withstands even the heaviest rainstorms, while the net in the top area of the tent and the two windows ensure better air flow through the entire tent for warmer travels. So you avoid creating a sauna in your tent when it rains. 1 person tent. The tent measures 230 x 75 cm with a total height of 60 cm – the perfect size to sleep comfortably as an individual. Perfect for camping, hiking or climbing in summer, autumn and winter and I assume getting to the top of a hill in case of a tsunami.


Finally if you are looking for something stylish then the Observer Plus from Carinthia is a 1 man bivouac tent that is second to none! With two poles it stands without pegs and offers enough space for luggage inside. A window with a mosquito net allows a view of the outside. The side opening enables comfortable entry and exit. Loops on the bottom allow the integration of a sleeping mat for additional comfort and protection from the cold. The Carinthia bivouac sack system with Gore-Tex gas permeable technology is a waterproof and windproof multifunctional layer with perfect properties for all activities in wet terrain and in the rain. The unique Gore-Tex laminate is not only extremely breathable, but also permeable to oxygen and carbon dioxide (ambient air). This means it is possible to create a fully enclosed water and windproof environment for sleeping in adverse weather conditions. The air permeability of the system was tested to a depth of 1 m of snow although it is unlikely you’ll be near snow in a tsunami but you just never know. Cost is not cheap at € 629,99 and is available from


Whatever you do, plan well in advance and test out the equipment where appropriate and don’t forget the correct batteries. It is important to make an emergency plan and work out what you need in advance then you will be well on your way to ensuring you can survive a tsunami.

Be safe. Be secure. Be ready. Be sensible.