NOAA Marks 1964 Tsunami Anniversary With Tsunami Preparedness Week

Maggie Wall/KMXT

logo-w-sunburstToday (March 27) is the anniversary of the 1964 Tsunami that destroyed many of Alaska’s coastal communities, including Kodiak’s downtown area.

This week is being set aside as Tsunami Preparedness Week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to remind fishermen and coastal residents to decide beforehand what to do when an earthquake and tsumani strikes.

Traditionally, people have said that if you get your boat out to deep water you’ll be fine.

But Cindi Preller, NOAA’s Tsunami Program Manager in Anchorage, says that may not be the best advice.

As she points out, there were a lot of hard lessons learned by fishermen who left their harbors in Oregon after the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami. They thought they were taking their vessels out to safety, but found they themselves needed rescued.

New knowledge says that if you leave the harbor, be sure to have 7 days of fuel, water and supplies onboard your boat.

Otherwise, you may end up like the fishermen in Oregon, who got stuck at sea for days and had to be rescued by the U.S. Navy because the tsunami didn’t settle down enough to allow the boats back near shore, plus there was no harbor to go back to…


Preller said each vessel owner and each skipper have to make their own decisions about what to do with their vessel in a tsunami, but she cautions that there are more important things than boats…


Cindy Preller, NOAA’s Tsunami Program Manager. She advises all fishermen, vessel owners and anyone near the shore to take time this week and decide ahead of time what your plan is for dealing with future tsunamis.

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