The tsunami event may have been destructive or non-destructive. If the event is non-destructive, local emergency management agencies may issue an "all clear" that it is safe to return to coastal areas. If a destructive event has occurred, an all clear may not be issued for hours to days. Emergency search and rescue operations will immediately commence on land and at sea. The coastline could be devastated with flooding, damaged homes / buildings, debris, fires, HAZMAT spills and inoperable utility lifeline systems (electrical, telecommunications, roadways / bridges, natural gas lines, etc.) The public will not be able to re-enter the coastline at least until roadway debris is removed. If tsunami was generated by a local earthquake, be alert for aftershocks and stay tuned to local radio and television broadcasts for emergency information and recovery assistance. Follow official instructions, using battery powered radios, regarding the opening of long term public shelters and/or disaster assistance centers. Remember, stay away from the coast until local officials issue an "all clear" reopening the area for you to return.
Post Tsunami Field Surveys will also commence to measure wave impacts on land (horizontal inundation and vertical runup heights).
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, 1998, Post-tsunami survey field guide:
(Paris), Unesco, Manuals and Guides No. 37,(though pdf file reads 30) 1 v. (various pagings) : First edition. "1998 Unesco"."SC-98/WS-24". Includes bibliographical references (p. 22-23).
For examples of international tsunami survey teams (ITST) results, click here.