My First Tsunami Warning

We first noticed the crawl across the top of the TV screen- tsunami warning for all of Hawaii. A tsunami had been generated from a 7.7 earthquake off the coast of Canada. Earlier that Saturday evening we received text messages from our state Office of Emergency Services saying,”No tsunami warning for Hawaii.”

Cars lined up at a gas station.

We are close to an evacuation zone, but not in one. I didn’t know what to do. Was the earlier text correct or the current TV warning? Just then, we heard the first tsunami siren go off in our neighborhood.

Mark and I both jumped up, grabbed our emergency supplies and our kits, added a few items, and drove off.

Within 15 minutes, we saw lines at the gas stations, traffic on the streets with cars driving erratically, and turnouts along the mountain roads already filling up with cars. People were moving to higher ground and staking out spots to stay until the warning was over.

Traffic on the rainy streets after tsunami sirens sounded.

It turns out the tsunami was minor. Many sirens weren’t working and a few other glitches happened, but overall, I’m taking this as a good practice run. State Civil Defense gets a chance to fix the sirens and we get a chance to refill our emergency kits. (We moved a few weeks back, and not wanting to move our extra water, we drank it up.)

The following day, we left the tsunami in Saturday and focused on Sandy, the monster storm, about to hit the East Coast.