Preparing Your Business for a Tsunami

Feared throughout the world for their deadly potential, tsunamis (from the Japanese term for “harbor wave”) are large, unbroken tidal waves formed by an underwater explosion resulting from volcanic activity, earthquakes, or glacier clavings.

It is difficult to understate a tsunami's destructive capability. In 2004 a single tsunami event killed more than 240,000 people in 14 countries along the Indian Ocean.

Formulating Your Business' Tsunami Preparedness
Tsunamis generally consist of a series of tidal waves over minutes or hours, an event know as the wave train. Because they're so destructive, and often unpredictable, planning for disaster recovery can seem an almost impossible task.

Nevertheless, look for warning signs including rapidly rising or falling coastal waters and the low rumblings of a seaquake offshore or earthquake on land. Rapid change in ocean levels could signal the formation of a wave train.

Formulate An Evacuation Strategy
The first and most important step in preparing for a tsunami is learning multiple evacuation routes. You and your employees should be familiar with where to go and who will administer the evacuation area. Once the evacuation order is given, leave at once and do not return until the order is lifted.

Post evacuation routes inside your business' break room or common area, and make sure your public address system is in good working order. Make sure your business has a battery-operated radio to monitor emergency alerts. In the likely event of power failure, you'll need to keep updated on changes in evacuation routes as well as the latest weather forecasts.

In the Aftermath
Once disaster recovery begins, you'll need to immediately contact your insurance agent, local authorities and local utilities to begin damage assessment. Depending on the amount of devastation, damage restoration could likely take weeks or even longer. You may wish to contract disaster recovery specialists to help organize and administrate your efforts.