Tsunami Alert and what happens

Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve been on the blog. I thought I would tell you a bit about what happens when we have a tsunami alert here. This was my first real one although the alarms are tested every month on the first Monday, so if you are in the Islands and hear them, keep that in mind.
I had a news flash on my phone that the tsunami alert had been triggered so I went downstairs since I live in a high rise building to verify. Fortunately for me, I live across the street from the end of the evacuation zone which includes all of Waikiki. In my case, that meant “vertical evacuation” since I live on a high floor.
The first thing to do is turn on the news and pay attention. For people who have to evacuate, it’s time to get out and not wait We had about an hour and half warning which is enough time. Supermarkets got jammed up as did gas stations, traffic snarled unbelievably. Shelters open immediately but they don’t supply food so you have to have a bag of food and medications, pet food, etc. if you are heading to a shelter.
For me, this was all pretty easy. My building sandbagged the lobby only because there is a canal behind the building which could in theory flood. I dug out flashlights and had them ready in every room in case of a power failure, filled up water in sinks, etc. and took the dog for a walk. Dogs don’t care about tsunamis, they still need to walk! And, I noticed everyone with a dog doing the same. While we went walking, I charged up anything that needed to be charged, like my phone.
People with small boats are asked to take them out on the ocean which is better than sitting in the marina. I could see lights out over the water at this point. About half an hour before the expected first wave, rescuers clear out of the evacuation zone so if you were counting on help once it hits, forget it. I saw the fire engines in my area heading away.After that, the roadblocks went up and it was eerie. Saturday night and no traffic on the streets at all. Back to sitting in front of the news, watching and waiting.
In my area, this was not bad at all which is a relief, but I did hear that on the Big Island, boats were on the sand, pushed in by the waves.
I think, compared, to the people bracing on the East Coast for Hurricane Sandy, we got off easy and we are all grateful.
I can say, since tsunami is a year round possibility here, people don’t panic and seen to know exactly what to do and do it. I also had phone calls from friends very early asking if they needed to come and get me to evacuate which was very thoughtful of them.
I felt complete confidence in the tsunami plan and how things work although I’d still rather not find out what a really bad one is like.