Have you ever wondered how to survive a tsunami? If so, you’ve come to the right place!
It’s a little known fact that the deadliest natural disaster in recorded history was a tsunami.
Rare as they may be, a tsunami’s ability to end human life is greater than tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes! The power of a tsunami to kill humans is rivaled in nature only by a comet impact or a super-volcano eruption, both of which are far more rare.
Surviving a tsunami takes planning and foresight, but by reading this article and making preparations, you can stack the odds in your favor!
In this article, I’ll teach you how to survive a tsunami!
What is a Tsunami?
Most people think of a tsunami as a one gigantic, devastating wave, but it’s not.
It’s actually a series of gigantic, devastating waves! These waves can surge inland for up to 10 miles and keep rolling in for several hours!
How big is a tsunami?
Pretty freakin big!
A regular ocean wave is about 130 feet long. A tsunami, on the other hand, can be miles long! It’s so long, it doesn’t look like a wave at all. It looks like the entire tide is rising!
That’s why they call them “tidal waves,” and they can move at speeds up to 500 miles per hour!
That’s faster than a cheetah on meth, but because the wave is stretched out over such a huge area of the ocean, it’s only about 3 feet high – not much taller than your average chocolate-loving, child-murdering Oomph-Loompah.
Fisherman at sea don’t even notice them.
But when that 3 foot wave smashes against the shoreline at 500 mph, it compresses!
The compression causes it’s height to rise like a massive, soggy, demon out of hell!
The biggest tsunami on record was 1,720 feet high. For perspective, Godzilla was only 200 feet tall, and he smashed Tokyo with ease.
What causes a Tsunami?
Normal sized, “chump” waves are caused by the relatively gentle effects of wind and the gravitational pull of the moon.
Tsunamis, on the other hand, are caused by huge amounts of water being displaced all at once by underwater earthquakes, landslides, meteor impacts, glaciers breaking in half, or volcanoes erupting!
Events like those have the potential to create waves that are miles long. Again, because the wave is stretched out over such a long distance, its height isn’t very impressive.
Only when it reaches the shoreline does it rise to catastrophic heights worthy of a low-budget, cgi-riddled "end of the world" movie on Netflix.
DID YOU KNOW?
Japanese fisherman called them “harbor waves.”
They’d go out to sea and enjoy a nice, beautiful day of fishing, then return to the harbor and find their village in ruins!
The tsunami passed right under them and they had no idea.
Where do Tsunami’s occur?
80% of tsunami’s originate in the pacific ocean, but they can happen in any large body of water including lakes and rivers. All it takes is a single landslide, and your favorite bass fishing lake can produce a gargantuan wave of death, sending you to swim with the fish like Luca Bratzi.
The good news is that tsunamis are only dangerous for people living along the coast.
The bad news? About 40% of humanity lives along the coast, including 94 million Americans!
Now that you know a little more about exactly what a tsunami is, let’s look at ways to prepare for them.
If you want to know how to survive a tsunami, then know this:
Your primary strategy must always be to get inland and uphill as fast as possible, so the earlier you know a tsunami is coming, the better.
Its imperative that you learn to recognize the following warning signs.
If you see or hear any of these things, its time to bug the hell out of there!
DID YOU KNOW?
The deadliest tsunami in history occurred in 2004.
The waves were only 30 feet high, but killed 225,000 people in 14 different countries! It was the deadliest natural disaster in recorded history.
If you see water at the beach receding to an unusual degree, don't stand around gawking. Bug the hell out of there! Get uphill and inland as fast as possible!
Most people are knuckleheads, so they walk down to the newly uncovered sand to checkout all the beached fish and rocks they’ve never seen before.
What they don’t realize is that the water is getting sucked back like that because of the giant, rolling tsunami in the distance, out of view, just minutes away from hitting!
Animals Moving Inland
Animals have a 6th sense for when a tsunami is about to hit.
Scientists have a couple theories about how they do it, but one thing is for sure: animals will always move to higher ground minutes before the wave hits. Cats, dogs, elephants, monkeys; they all instinctually know when to get away from the beach.
So, if you see an elephant running uphill followed by a monkey, a snake, and a herd of water buffalo, don’t ignore them! Follow your brothers and sisters of the animal kingdom!
Their senses haven’t been dulled by the relentless over-stimulation of modern technological living, as yours has.
"Following the herd" is generally not how to survive any apocalyptic situation, especially not the zombie kind, but it is how to survive a tsunami!
Pay attention to weather reports! If you hear about an earthquake occurring out in the ocean, it’s time to bug the hell out of there.
You don’t need to wait for an official tsunami warning. Warnings will be issued if geologists believe there’s one coming.
The trouble is that even if scientists know where and when an ocean earthquake occurred, it’s nearly impossible to tell what direction the tsunami will be moving in, or if a tsunami was generated at all!
By the time they know for sure and tell you to evacuate, it might be too late, especially since the evacuation order will cause tens of thousands of people to hit the road at the same time, jamming up traffic and rendering all of you sitting ducks.
Except ducks can fly. You can’t.
I suggest not waiting.
DID YOU KNOW?
The tallest tsunami ever reported was 1,720 feet high!
It occurred on July 9th, 1958 and wiped out 5 square miles of land, including hundreds of thousands of trees.
By some cosmic miracle, it only killed 2 people.
The further from the beach you can get, the better. The further uphill you can get, the better.
Stay away from rivers and streams, as those can quickly surge with incoming flood water and kill you just as surely as if you were still goofing off on the banana boat back at the beach.
What if traffic is completely jammed so you can’t drive away?
Then get on a bicycle or electric scooter and weave between the lanes! Go on foot if you have to. Sitting in your car waiting for the wave to his is NOT how to survive a tsunami!
If you absolutely can’t get away, then go to the nearest, tallest building you can find and get as high as you can. Get on the roof if possible and find something strong to hang on to, like a smokestack or some pipes.
With any luck the water won’t reach the top floor, and if your building remains standing, you should be alright until the rescue crew arrives.
What if you can’t find a building?
If there are no buildings (and you can't get into them), and you have no way of getting upland, then find a tall tree, climb it, and hang on for your life!
That tree will be likely become completely submerged or uprooted, but in either case, try to keep your grip as long as you can.
If the tree becomes submerged, you might still be able to keep your head high enough to breath.
Hanging on will prevent you from being swept into the deadly debris of the flood.
That's important, because getting grinded up into soggy, minced meat by floating cars and broken glass is definitely not how to survive a tsunami!
If your tree gets uprooted, it might float, enabling you to stay on the surface long enough to be rescued or to find something better to climb onto.
In either case, your best bet is to stay on the surface by hanging on to something, anything, and get out of the water as soon as you can!
Are You a Strong Swimmer?
As the Rock would say, "It doesn’t matter if you’re a strong swimmer!" Don’t go swimming in flood water if you can avoid it, even if it looks like the tsunami has totally finished surging.
That water will be filled with all kinds of junk you’d never expect to see engulfed by water - things that would pulverize your fragile human body into a fine powder if only tsunamis weren't so wet.
One small wave is all it takes to send that debris in your direction, so don't do it.
Power lines will be knocked down as well, and you don’t want to risk getting electrocuted.
If you were lucky enough to have survived the initial onslaught of the tsunami, then the god's must be on your side. Just stay on the roof until help arrives.
Getting in the water unnecessarily is not how to survive a tsunami.
I recommend every reader keep a backpack filled with everything they need to survive any type of emergency, including a tsunami.
Crom-willing you're able to grab it before bugging out.
As long as you have these basic items, you can stay on your rooftop and wait for the water to recede, or for a rescue team to extract you.
That could take several days, so be patient.
Even if the waves didn't get you, you're still at risk of starvation, dehydration, and exposure to the elements.
Listen for helicopters in the distance. Watch for private boats searching for stranded people to pickup.
Once anyone with either a boat or a flying machine of some type gets in view, light a smoke signal to get their attention!
If its night time, fire off your flare gun! If you have neither of those, then simply scream and wave your arms to make yourself as conspicuous as possible.
Being as inconspicuous as possible is advisable in the majority of apocalyptic situations, but it is NOT how to survive a tsunami!
Once you've been rescued, it's finally time to sit down and contemplate what just happened. The gods chose you to survive this disaster for a purpose. You must find that purpose and fulfill it.
Did You Know?
In 1991, a bank robber stood on a beach, staring out at the massive waves of an epic "50 year storm."
Just before he could be apprehended, he grabbed a surfboard and paddled into the waves, never to be seen again.
Legend has it that the FBI allowed him to go out. They did this to honor him, because despite robbing banks, he was also a hell of a guy.
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