I’m the worst watch dog. We had a 7.4 earthquake and I didn’t even wake up much less bark. It took the tsunami warning alarm to scare Kayla into making me stir from my slumber. Once awake, the alarm was pretty scary… the robotic voice rattling off ” este es el sistema de alerta de tsunamis , por favor evacuar el área de immediate…” on repeatedly for the better part of two hours. This is not the first tsunami warning we’ve had so the process is a bit tedious…even to a point where it’s become a ‘cry wolf’ process. However a tsunami would kick a wolf’s ass anytime anyplace. Here’s the process:
1. Evacuate anybody unnecessary on the property- we didn’t have any guests on hand so we didn’t evacuate anybody last night, but normal we would keep three people on hand.
2. Put someone on “ocean watch”- we designate a person to watch the ocean to look for signs of abnormal and rapid tide drop precursory to an arriving tsunami. This is best left to someone with ocean knowledge and often falls to me…I delegate tasks as I stay on watch for any signs of abnormal activity.
3. Load the essentials- two staff are assigned to get a truck running and ready at the gate and then load it with medical supplies and water, once those are loaded we branch into food, tools, fuel and then valuables. Once all of those are loaded someone is dispatched to check the internet for any news.
Last night’s earthquake was only 80 miles from our location. The average tsunami travels in excess of 400mph or about 6.67 miles per minute. It would have taken the tsunami 12 minutes to hit our location which was about the time it took for us to get the plan somewhat completed. Of course the real question is “how long do we wait?” In this instance we waited an hour. After many phone calls from staff without internet inquiring about the truth of the situation I felt comfortable telling everyone to go to bed again.
The house sits about 5 meters above sea level….the second floor about 10meters above sea level. I feel pretty comfortable here surviving all but the worst of tsunamis. We have some higher ground close by and some ‘high ground’ about a mile away. It’s still pretty nerve wracking in the middle of the night to wake up to the alarm telling you to ‘leave immediately’.